Towers and Tombs: Remnants of Medieval Ossetian architecture

For centuries and possibly millennia the peoples of the high Caucasus have built stone towers to serve as refuges when under attack from invaders. Called ganakh in Ossetian, these towers are typically four stories tall, and have window openings which were used as lookouts and to fire upon encroaching enemies. Each family would have a tower ofContinue reading “Towers and Tombs: Remnants of Medieval Ossetian architecture”

Ossetian Popular Religion: Scythian Connections

When one has spent years studying a topic and earned the status of a specialist through much time and effort, it can be deeply annoying when others who have not done so presume to voice opinions in the absence of familiarity with the facts. One can only imagine the frustration of climate scientists when politicalContinue reading “Ossetian Popular Religion: Scythian Connections”

Ossetian Genealogy: From Arya to Alan to Ir

National identity became something of a worldwide rage during the 20th century and nowhere more than in the former Soviet Union, particularly when the breakup of that multi-ethnic empire allowed for the resurgence among non-Russians of nationalist claims to territory and history. The Ossetes, numbering less than a million and living in one of the world’sContinue reading “Ossetian Genealogy: From Arya to Alan to Ir”