Cyclopean structures of antiquity
The Caucasus many times been the target of invasions by foreign aggressors, but one of the most destructive was the Mongol invasion. The first reconnaissance units of the Mongols appeared in the Caucasus in 1220-1222, but the conquest of the steppes and foothills of the North Caucasus was the result of large-scale campaigns of 1237-1240. With fire and sword passing through the Caucasus, the Mongols defeated the Kipchaks, Circassians and Alans. The Alan settlements in the plains of Chechnya and Ingushetia were wiped off the face of the earth.
The Mongols tried to penetrate and in the mountains, inhabited by Vainakh tribes, but met there with stubborn resistance and failed to break. Tactical properties wooded and rough terrain helped the highlanders to defend their positions and created insurmountable difficulties to the Mongolian warriors, who grew up in the steppes. Therefore maintained its independence from the Mongols and the mountaineers of Dagestan and retreated to the mountains a part of the Alans and Circassians.
However, the Mongols soon abandoned attempts to conquer the inhabitants of the mountain gorges. Historical Chronicles report that in 50-70-ies of the XIII century in the North Caucasus continued armed struggle of local people against the Mongol invaders. However, easily accessible steppes and foothills firmly entrenched in the world of the Empire the descendants of Chinggis Khan. After its collapse, several Mongol States (uluses), the North Caucasian lowlands were ceded to the ulus of Jochi, or Golden Horde. Dzhuchieva ulus khans, whose power was spread on the vast territory from Hungary and the Gulf of Finland to the great Siberian river Ob, and from the Northern taiga to the Caucasus mountains and Central Asian steppes, have repeatedly smashed their camps on the banks of the Terek and Sunzha.
Folk memory of the Vainakhs brought us numerous legends about the struggle of the ancestors of the Chechens and Ingush from huge hordes of aliens, who lived in yurts (portable dwellings of the Turkic-Mongolian nomads), about the scenes of heroic battles with the insidious enemy. Particularly interesting is the story of twelve-year-old defense tebulosmta the mountains, on the slopes that shelter the inhabitants of the Argun gorge. Such legends sometimes mention the names of historically well-known Mongolian khans and generals.
In the second half of the fourteenth century the power of the Golden Horde begins to fall. At the end of the century, the cruel conqueror Timur, a descendant of the Mongols who settled in Central Asia, caused the Horde hit with such force that she could not recover. In 1395-1396, Timur with his hordes were on the North Caucasus, everywhere sowing death and destruction. Of the population of the Caucasus was destroyed. Timur’s troops and invaded the country of the Vainakhs, with the usual cruelty of destroying the population, destroying fortresses, churches and temples.
Locked in the mountains of Vainakhs, before the constant threat of raids of nomads, fortified their settlements and dwellings. In XIII-XIV centuries in the mountains appeared first defensive tower became over time a mandatory attribute of the Vainakh settlements, giving them a distinctive and unique look.
In ancient times the dwelling of the Chechens was a small house of wattle, covered with clay, with flat mud roofs. The building, erected long before our era, was characterized by the so-called “cyclopean” buildings – rude structures made of huge stones. The fortress of cyclopean type in the bronze age were built in many regions of the Caucasus. In the country of the Vainakhs, as suggested by some scholars, they were used in some cases until the middle of the II Millennium BC, it Is believed that the cyclopean structures were the basis of the later tower houses.