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The paper deals with the results of I.A. Vladimirov’s research of the kurgan necropolis located near the aul of Kashkhatau on the left coast of Cherek River (Kabardino- Balkaria) in 1897. This archaeological site includes more than twenty stone barrows surrounding the almost completely destroyed crypt-keshene. The scholar made the plan of a burial ground, executed drawing of a tomb and dug out two barrows. A part of the materials of his fi eld report on the excavation of barrows near the aul of Kashkhatau was introduced into scientifi c circulation. However, data on a crypt-keshene weren’t included into the publication. Further, already in the 20th and 21st centuries, some authors, being guided by this incomplete information on a burial ground, considered a crypt and barrows as two various, not connected with each other archaeological object that led to emergence in scientifi c literature of wrong dating and not reasonable ethno-cultural interpretation of a burial ground.

The crypt-keshene is a ground rectangular construction with a gable roof. It was built of dressed stone with lime mortar, its walls are plastered. The construction fi nds direct analogies among the Balkar tombs of the 16th –18th centuries. The crypt-keshene and the barrows surrounding it, undoubtedly, belong to the same ethno-social group. Features of the burials and grave goods allow us to attribute the whole necropolis to number of funeral sites of one of the Balkar societies which at the turn of the Middle Ages and Modern times occupied fl at part of the valley of Cherek River at an entrance to the foothills.


Archaeology, Kabardino-Balkaria, crypt-keshene, stone barrows, the Balkars, Late Middle Ages, Modern History.

Inga A. Druzhinina. Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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