The Masoleums of Majar in 18th-Century Descriptions and Drawings

The Masoleums of Majar in 18th-Century Descriptions and Drawings

ARCHAEOLOGY, ETHNOLOGY & ANTHROPOLOGY OF EURASIA Archaeology Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia 40/2 (2012) 83–93 E-mail: [email protected] ...

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ARCHAEOLOGY, ETHNOLOGY & ANTHROPOLOGY OF EURASIA Archaeology Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia 40/2 (2012) 83–93 E-mail: [email protected] THE METAL AGES AND MEDIEVAL PERIOD


E.D. Zilivinskaya1 and D.V. Vasiliev2 Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Pr. 32Ⱥ, Moscow, 119991, Russia E-mail:[email protected] 2 Astrakhan State University, Tatischeva 20ɚ, Astrakhan, 414056, Russia E-mail: [email protected]



The article focuses on the buildings of Majar, the largest Golden Horde city in the North Caucasus. Many of these buildings, mostly mausoleums, survived until the end of the 18th century. The main source for studying the mausoleums of Majar are the drawings and descriptions made by explorers and travelers such as J.-G. Gaerber, by members of the V.N. Tatischev expedition as well as by S.G. Gmelin, J.A. Güldenstädt, P.S. Pallas, J.N. Potocki, and K.E. von Baer. Excavations conducted in the 20th century yielded less signi¿cant results. A detailed analysis of all available sources reveals the variety of planning and architectural forms expressed in the Majar mausoleums, which are similar to the religious architectural monuments of Iran, Western Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Asia Minor. Keywords: Majar; Golden Horde, North Caucasus, mausoleums, Iran, Western Central Asia, Azerbaijan, Asia Minor.

The largest Golden Horde city of the North Caucasus is Majar, which was situated on the Kuma River, at its confluence with its tributary Buyvola. The city area measures 8 sq. km (Rtveladze, 1972: 159); however, no detailed excavations have been conducted there as yet. At present a large part of the site, on the left bank of the modern riverbed of the Kuma, is occupied by the modern town of Budennovsk. The right-bank part is transected by a system of irrigation channels, and most of it has been destroyed by deep plowing when gardens and vineyards were being arranged. Majar was built in the 14th century at the crossroads of trade routes connecting the center of the Golden Horde with Caucasus and the western territories – Azak and the cities of Crimea. Ibn Battuta, who visited Majar in 1332, described it as “a large city, one of the best Turkic

cities, situated on a large river, with gardens and abundant fruit” (Tiesenhausen, 1884: 287). Majar is also mentioned in Russian chronicles in relation to the tragic death of Prince Mikhail Yaroslavovich of Tver in the Horde in 1319. The funeral cortege with the Prince’s body made a night stop in Majar, where an Orthodox church was situated. The Tatar princes would not allow the Russians to carry the body into the church, and so it had to be kept in the barn, where a nimbus allegedly appeared above it (Polnoye sobraniye… 1851: 213–215). After the decline of the Golden Horde, the city fell into decay, but the ruins of brick buildings survived until the late 1700s. These magni¿cent ruins attracted numerous explorers and travelers, most of whom left more or less detailed descriptions of the site. In the 18th and 19th centuries, remains of the city were visited by J.-G. Gaerber, by

Copyright © 2012, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.aeae.2012.08.009


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members of the Tatischev expedition, as well as by S.G. Gmelin, J.A. Güldenstädt, G.J. Klaproth, J.P. Falk, P.S. Pallas, J.I. Schmidt, C. Godet, P.I. Koeppen, J.-C. de Besse, K.H. Koch, K.E. von Baer, A.S. Firkovich, W.F. Mueller, etc. In the 1840s and 1850s, a general draft of the site was prepared by land-surveyor A.P. Arkhipov; later, regrettably, the draft was lost. As the history of the Majar ruins has been addressed in several studies (Volkova, 1972; Ajimamedov, 1992; Dode, 2008), we will not discuss it in detail. It should only be noted that many descriptions and the preserved drawings and drafts are invaluable sources for studying the topography of the city and its architecture. In fact, some of these sources are much more informative than archaeological ¿ndings. The most effectual archaeological studies at Majar were conducted by V.A. Gorodtsov in 1907. Gorodtsov excavated several houses and burials and compiled a draft of the site (Gorodtsov, 1911). Later ¿eld surveys by G.N. Prozritelev in 1911 and 1925, by Mametkhanov in 1927, and by T.M. Minayeva in 1940 resulted mostly in surface ¿nds. In the 1960s and 1970s E.V. Rtveladze and A.P. Runich carried out small excavations at Majar. They prepared a detailed plan of the site, examined the preserved ruins and stratigraphy, and collected abundant archaeological and numismatic material. Based on stratigraphic and typological observations, the analysis of written sources, drafts and drawings, numismatic and epigraphic data, Rtveladze (1972, 1973) has made several conclusions regarding the emergence of the city, its political history, development and decline; also, Rtveladze reconstructed the complex multiethnic composition of Majar and examined its architecture, handicrafts, and trade links. In 1989–1991, excavations at the site were conducted by an archaeological expedition from Stavropol Pedagogical Institute, led by A.B. Belinsky and E.D. Zilivinskaya. Although the excavation area was large, the findings were rather modest because the works were conducted within the modern town, where most of the medieval habitation layer is destroyed. In the 1990s, an expedition by Moscow University Department of Archaeology led by E.D. Zilivinskaya carried out excavations on the right bank of the Kuma, where part of the trade and craft quarters, a large adobe building, and remains of a bath with underÀoor heating were unearthed (Zilivinskaya, 1994; 1995; 1996; 2001). All those excavations have demonstrated beyond doubt that most of the major buildings of Majar have been lost forever, and that subsequent works may at best reveal minor remains of the bottom parts of walls or their imprints. It is therefore, all the more important to analyze the drawings of the Majar structures, many of which had survived in full, up to the roofs, until the 18th century, and their descriptions left by those who witnessed them. Part of this work has already been undertaken. For instance, E.V. Rtveladze (1973) has examined three types

of the Majar mausoleums depicted on A.F. Büsching’s drawing, supporting his conclusions by those made by S.G. Gmelin, P.S. Pallas, and J. Potocki. One more type was discovered by L.G. Nechayeva (1978). However, the researchers focused on separate sources, and some of their conclusions are unconvincing. The present study is based on a detailed analysis of the totality of known written and graphic sources concerning the architectural monuments of Majar. For the ¿rst time they are analyzed in full. Fragments of the panorama of Majar, drawn in the 1740s and depicting more than forty structures, are separated. The spatial layout of those buildings has not been analyzed in detail by previous researchers. The comprehensive analysis of the available sources allows us to describe the full variety of the memorial structures of Majar. Written and graphic sources The first person to draw the attention of the Russian Academy of Sciences to Majar as early as 1720 was Colonel J.-G. Gaerber, but he described the site in general terms only: “In the region where the Biruma stream Àows into the Kuma River…, there are ruins of a large city with beautiful stone palaces and vaults, which, like the collapsed hewn stones decorated with ¿ne carving, suggest that in the past this was an important and glorious city.” At that time one could still see “vaulted cellars and ruins of large palaces” (quoted after (Shestakov, 1884: 5–6)). During his governorship in Astrakhan, the prominent scholar and statesman V.N. Tatischev not only described a forti¿ed settlement near Selitrennoye and other Golden Horde sites on the Lower Volga (Yegorov, Yukht, 1986) but also dispatched a small expedition to Majar (Palmov, 1925: 209–210; 1928: 334–338). To draw the ruins, he employed Mikhail Nekrasov, an artistic assistant at the Academy of Sciences in Saint-Petersburg. Also, he asked the Commandant of Fort Kizlyar to dispatch an “able land-surveyor for plotting and mapping of the site, and a convoy of thirty or forty men.” The expedition, whose members, apart from M. Nekrasov and the land-surveyor Andrey Golokhvostov, were twenty Cossacks, visited Majar in July 1742. The relationships between the artist and the topographer were less than friendly, and the former described the situation rather emotionally in his report for V.N. Tatischev: “Twenty versts short of Majar, about a verst away from the road, we saw large buildings across the Kuma. When I suggested that we visit them, the landsurveyor refused Àatly and with much obstinacy; nor did he agree to wait for me, so I had to abandon the idea. And when, on reaching Majar by evening 31st, we began drawing the buildings on 1 August , this land-surveyor,

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having drafted them and mapped their position, began urging me to return. When I responded that I was unable to make an accurate drawing in such a short time, the landsurveyor not only made the draft with all measurements himself, but abused me saying, “Why all this onlooking?” And with much dispute he took my best Cossacks and left at noon, leaving me with eight men on the worst horses. And though, as those men told me, there were many dangerous hoodlums around, I found it impossible to leave without detailing the draft, stayed until evening and made, as far as possible, a drawing of each structure as well as a general view. There were probably cellars too, but as the land-surveyor provided us with only one shovel and one axe, and it was already late evening, I had to return. On our way back I saw the large houses across the Kuma again, but I was afraid to ride there to draw them, because when crossing the river we had already seen three men hiding in the rush; therefore I had to abandon the idea and ride on to catch up with the land-surveyor. On the next day I caught up with him some 25 versts away. All the way he kept abusing me and threatening to whip me. As my horse stopped, the land-surveyor, who had usurped the command, forbade his Cossacks to give me one of their horses in exchange for mine, and only after my insistent appeals did I succeed in paying one of his men so we could exchange horses.” (quoted after (Palmov, 1928: 335–336)). Golokhvostov’s report is more laconic; it says that the task was completed, and that a map was compiled on which not only the ruins of stone buildings on the Kuma but also their location relative to Fort Kizlyar and to Saint Anne Fortress on the Don were indicated (Ibid.: 336). At present, both Nekrasov’s drawing (Fig. 1) and Golokhvastov’s map (Fig. 2) are in the possession of the Manuscript Department of the Academy of Sciences Library (Collection of Maps, registration No. 760 and 868). A lithograph was made based on Nekrasov’s drawing published by K. Baer (Bähr, 1839, Tab. 1) (Fig. 3, 1). The

picture can be found in several publications (Magazin…, 1771: 530; Volkova, 1972: 44–45; Ajimamedov, 1992: 143). It shows the Kuma bank with ruins of some 45 mausoleums built of ¿red brick. On Golokhvostov’s plan 48 buildings can be seen, and their location and layout match those on the drawing. These graphic materials have virtually never been used by researchers who have addressed the architecture of the Majar mausoleums. This is all the more amazing because the buildings are shown in detail, providing the opportunity of assessing their architecture and of describing their principal types. A detailed classification of mausoleums has been elaborated with regard to most Islamic countries (Pugachenkova, 1958: 168–179, 185–186, 342–343; Pugachenkova, Rempel, 1965: 226–227; Bretanitsky, 1966: 96–130, 166–201; Ettinghausen, Grabar, 1994: 216–222; Hillenbrand, 1994: 253–331). The best classi¿cation of Western Central Asian mausoleums was published by L.Yu. Mankovskaya (1979, 1980, 1983). This classification was adopted by S.G. Khmelnitsky with minor corrections (1996: 153). The principal criteria underlying all known typologies of mausoleums are the number or rooms, the shape of the building, presence or absence of portal, its shape, and that of the roof. Based on these criteria, the mausoleums of Majar can be subdivided into four groups. The ¿rst group (Fig. 4) includes cubical buildings with an octahedral or dodecahedral drum topped with a double dome. Each face of the drum has an ogive window. Windows are either real or false. Hemispheric inner domes were preserved in many buildings. Originally they were covered with tent-domes such as that preserved in one mausoleum (Fig. 4, 2). Each buildings of that type had a high projecting portal with an entrance surrounded by an ogive arch and two ɉ-shaped frames encased in brick and apparently tile. Portals fall into two subtypes in terms of shape (Mankovskaya, 1983: 32). In most mausoleums (Fig. 4, 1–4, 6) they are inscribed in the

Fig. 1. View of the ruins of the ancient city of Majar, situated at the conÀuence of the Buyvola and Kuma. Drawn by M. Nekrasov, 1742. Manuscript Department of the Academy of Sciences Library. Collection of Maps, No. 760.



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Fig. 2. Draft of the ruins of Majar with situation. Drawn by A. Golokhvostov, 1742. Manuscript Department of the Academy of Sciences Library. Collection of Maps, No. 868.





Fig.3. Engraving from A.F. Büsching’s Almanac (1771) (Magazin…, 1771). 1 – reproduction of M. Nekrasov’s drawing; 2 – pyramidal mausoleum at Majar; 3 – portal mausoleum with a tent dome at Majar; 4 –façade mausoleum with a tent dome at Dersovata.

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general prismatic body of the building. In one mausoleum (Fig. 4, 5) the portal markedly projects forward and is much narrower than the body of the building. Side walls of most mausoleums have ogival niches encompassed by ɉ-shaped frames. In some buildings the niches have small windows (Fig. 4, 2–4) while in others (Fig. 4, 5, 6) there are apertures. Mausoleums depicted by P.S. Pallas 1 2 3 and J. Potocki have the same layout. Pallas, who had visited Majar twice, wrote in 1780 about six towers and 32 preserved buildings. In 1793, however, he found only four intact mausoleums, which he depicted (Fig. 5–7), whereas the remaining were represented only by foundations arranged in three lines along the river (Pallas, 1799: 276– 284). The last surviving mausoleum in the city was drawn 4 5 6 by J. Potocki in 1798 (Potocki, 1829: 188). E.V. Rtveladze, who studied the Majar mausoleums Fig. 4. Portal mausoleums at Majar. on the basis of A.F Büsching’s drawings (Magazin..., 1771: 530) and S.G. Gmelin’s descriptions, also mentioned buildings of the portal tentdome type and assessed their dimensions. They are rectangular in plan (10 m by 7 m) with one square room (5 m by 5 m) and an accentuated portal built on the extensions of lateral walls. The portal niche is covered by an ogive arch and encompassed by two ɉ-shaped frames. On the spandrels of the portal there are shallow niches also marked with ogive arches. Similar niches with doors or windows were situated in the central parts of three walls of the mausoleum, both inside and outside. The walls, 1.1–1.2 m thick, were built of brick of the standard Golden Horde type. The exterior facing was made of turquoise tile bricks, mosaics composed of encaustic glazed pieces Fig. 5. Mausoleum at Majar on an engraving by P.S. Pallas (1799). (turquoise, blue, white, green, or red), and of carved decorative ceramics with a turquoise glaze. The inside of the walls was plastered (Rtveladze, 1973: 271–272). Mausoleums of the second group are square in plan and have no projecting portals (Fig. 8, 1). The latter feature might be explained by poor preservation, but these mausoleums can also constitute a separate type, one that Rtveladze calls “centric”, although it would be better to call them “façade mausoleums”, because they have only one façade (Mankovskaya, 1983: 32; Khmelnitsky, 1996: 153), whereas centric ones have four axial entrances and four equivalent façades. Such a façade mausoleum at Dersovata is depicted by A.F. Büsching (Fig. 3, 4). It is square in plan and measures approximately 7 m by 7 m. Its corners are marked by three-quarter columns. The portal is absent, but the doorway made in one of Fig. 6. Mausoleum at Majar on an engraving by P.S. Pallas (1799). the walls is enclosed with an ogive arch. The



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Fig. 7. The last preserved mausoleums at Majar (Pallas, 1799).




Fig. 8. Mausoleums of Majar on M. Nekrasov’s drawing. 1 – façade type; 2 – tower type; 3 – composite type.

mausoleum has a dome resting on a high cylindric drum with eight or twelve rectangular windows. The dome is double; its inner part is hemispheric and its outer part is tent-conical. The total height of the building is about 14 m (Rtveladze, 1973: 273–274). The third group comprises tower mausoleums with or without projecting portals (Fig. 8, 2). As both Nekrasov’s drawing and Golokhvostov’s plan clearly suggest, these mausoleums can be subdivided into two subtypes – round and polyhedral in plan. An octahedral

tower mausoleum without a projecting portal at Maslov Kut near Majar is depicted by P.S. Pallas (1799: 308, pl. 12) (Fig. 9). Tower mausoleums as well as those of the portal type were described in detail by S.G. Gmelin, who visited Majar in 1772: “The shape of the still preserved buildings is tetragonal, octagonal, or round. They are four to nine sazhens [8.5–19 m] high; tetragonal and octagonal buildings are topped by peaked pyramids or taper toward the tops in a pyramidal fashion. The pyramids or domes can be reached by secret circular staircases made in side walls, which are narrow (no wider than 15 inches). Pyramids or domes are illuminated by means of windowlike side apertures. Roofs are covered with vaulted domes. Each house has a high and wide stone gallery with two such apertures; a door connects the gallery with the main room below. The entrance to the gallery is low and protruding. Thus, each building consists only of a single main room, a gallery, a dome or a pyramid. The main room is illuminated by means of narrow windowlike apertures situated at relative height on each side… The layout of the round houses differs even more greatly from modern, European or Asian architecture. These houses, too, are four to nine sazhens high, rather small, have vaults above and are rounded. They are so similar to Persian or other watchtowers that they might be considered such, were it not for the fact that they stood on a Àat surface and had simple window-like apertures instead of loopholes… Amidst the main room there is a round opening leading to the cellar and measuring three to four feet in diameter; the opening is closed with a well adjusted stone lid. This cellar is a horizontal corridor, often no longer than the room; but often it passes under the foundation directly to the courtyard, where there is a closed entrance to it” (quoted after (Shestakov, 1884: 8–9)). Also, Gmelin gives a detailed description of materials of which the mausoleums were built: “The bricks

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Fig. 9. Tower mausoleum at Maslov Kut (Pallas, 1799).

are similar to those which are still made by the Astrakhan Tatars… The brickwork of some buildings is fastened with mortar and sand, but mostly with clay; the inside of nearly all the rooms is plastered with lime, smoothed, and painted. The foundations are mostly made of brick, some are made of Àag, but all are very ¿rm. The beams are made of pine… The decoration consists of glazed blue, green, red, bricky, or pearly stones, which are beautifully and skillfully embedded between the bricks of the inner and outer walls of the lower room, pyramid, dome, or gallery, forming triangles, quadrangles, diamonds, crosses, hearts, and various fantastic ¿gures. We see exactly the same in buildings of the Selitrennoye fortress”. S.G. Gmelin believed that most buildings were feudal castles, whereas the round towers were stores (Ibid.). Most modern scholars agree that the rectangular and octagonal structures described by Gmelin are mausoleums (Minayeva, 1953: 150; Rtveladze, 1973: 271–273). As regards the round towers, views diverge. E.V. Rtveladze (1973: 273) considered them minarets. L.G. Nechayeva (1978: 88) regarded them as “hive-like mausoleums”, which, as she believed, had been introduced by the Cumans during the pre-Mongolian period. She proceeded from William Rubruck’s description of the Cuman funerary writes. Rubruck wrote that the Cumans not only “raise a great tumulus over the dead, and set up a statue to him”, but “also make pyramids to the rich, that is to say, little pointed structures.” “(I)n some places”, he continues, “I saw great tiled covered towers, and in others stone houses, though there were no stones thereabout” (Rubruck, 1900). In support of her idea that the Cumans had been converted to Islam during the pre-Mongolian period, Nechayeva cites the miniatures of the Radzivill Chronicle where the Cuman banner always has a crescent. The same miniatures, as she believed, depict mausoleums – round domed structures (Nechayeva, 1978: 86). R.A. Dautova disagrees with Nechayeva. In her view, most Cumans were pagans until the 13th century. As to the structures mentioned by Nechayeva, Rubruck saw them in

1253, and there are no indications that they had anything to do with Islam. Miniatures of the Radzivill Chronicle were drawn in the 15th century and could reÀect the realities of that time (Dautova, 1983: 32–33). Also, Dautova addresses the issue of the “hive-like mausoleums” of Majar. Because there is no archaeological evidence of round mausoleums, those depicted on the drawings, as she believes, are likely speci¿c funeral monuments, small and solid, i.e., imitations of large mausoleums. Such structures are known among the 17th-20th-century funeral monuments of Western Central Asia (Ibid.). The problem of the islamization of the Cumans falls outside the scope of this article. As regards the mausoleums represented on the drawings, Dautova appears to be wrong. The absence of proof (archaeological proof in this case) is not the same as proof of absence. No large-scale excavations at Majar have been conducted, and no remains of any mausoleums have been discovered there. Nor is there any hope of ¿nding them since the territory where, according to Golokhvostov’s draft, the mausoleums were situated, is occupied by modern town quarters. At the same time, tower mausoleums of the façade type and those with protruding portals are well known. Some of them are polyhedral in plan, some round. Such mausoleums had emerged in Iran (Hillenbrand, 1994: 282–287, 528–529), from whence they spread to adjacent territories such as Western Central Asia (Pugachenkova, 1958: 292–298; Khmelnitsky, 1996: 227–234), Azerbaijan (Usseinov, Bretanitsky, Salamzade, 1963: 145; Bretanitsky, 1966: 110–115), and Asia Minor (Stierlin, 1998: 50; Hillenbrand, 1994: 306–308, 541– 542). In this context, their presence in North Caucasus appears altogether logical. It is hard to understand why Dautova (1983: 36) considers these structures “small and solid”. Gmelin’s descriptions, if read attentively, suggest precisely the opposite: he speaks of round “towers”, resembling watchtowers, 4–9 sazhens (8.5–19.2 m) high, with one room inside each. They cannot be minarets, because a



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minaret must have only a round staircase rather than an empty room inside. Below the “towers” there were vaulted “cellars” with corridors leading outside. This description fully supports what we know of mausoleums with underground sepulchral vaults. Incidentally, such vaults are present in all the tower-like mausoleums of Azerbaijan without exception. Their presence is attested to by the drawings made by P.S. Pallas and A.F. Büsching. Finally, a cluster of minarets on a small area would appear strange since they are normally parts of mosques. J.A. Güldenstädt, who visited Majar in July 1773, also describes about ¿fty buildings of ¿red brick at the conÀuence of the Kuma and Buyvola, i.e., at the place where they are shown on Golokhvostov’s map. Güldenstädt unreservedly describes these structures as memorial monuments with underground sepulchral vaults. As concerns mosques with minarets, he found such a structure one verst west of the mausoleums and another one further west (Güldenstädt, 1791: 26–27) marking them on his draft (Fig. 10). Returning to M. Nekrasov’s drawing, it shows one more group of buildings (Fig. 8, 3), which, judging by the drafts, have complex polygonal plans. These may be complexes consisting of several adjoining mausoleums each, as in the Shah-i-Zinda ensemble (Nemtseva, Schwab, 1979: 17–25). Alternatively, they may be multifunctional mausoleums with many chambers. L.Yu. Mankovskaya (1979: 97; 1983: 40–41) subdivides such mausoleums

into conglomerates without a distinct structure and complex mausoleums with a longitudinal or transverse axis. Such structures are exempli¿ed by complexes such as those of Kusam ibn Abbas at Shah-i-Zinda, of Husamata at Fudina, and the Chashma-Ayub mazar in Bukhara (Nemtseva, Schwab, 1979: 17–25; Mankovskaya, 1979; 1983: 40–41; Khmelnitsky, 1996: 255–257). E.V. Rtveladze described one more type of Majar mausoleum as pyramidal. Such buildings are octahedral in plan and taper towards the top. On one of the faces there is a low weakly projecting portal. The entrance was covered with an ogive arch and enclosed with a ɉ-shaped frame. Rtveladze (1973: 273) estimated the approximate dimensions of such a mausoleum. The inner distance between the walls was about 8 m, the walls were 1 m thick, and the portal was 4 m wide and 4.5 m high. The total height of the structure surpassed 12 m. While no such buildings are shown on the panoramic view of Majar, a rather detailed draft was provided by A.F. Büsching (Fig. 3, 2). Also, S.G. Gmelin mentions pyramidal buildings tapering towards the top in Majar itself and three triangular buildings ten versts downstream on the Kuma (see (Shestakov, 1884: 8, 11)). Pyramidal mausoleums are rare and have not been discovered at the Golden Horde sites. They may indeed originate from the “little pointed structures” mentioned by Rubruck. In Central Kazakhstan, such monuments were ¿rst described and drawn by J.-A. Castagné (1910: ¿g. 50–53). Later

Ɋɢɫ. 10. J.A. Güldenstädt’s plan of Majar, 1773 (Güldenstädt, 1791).

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they were studied by A.Kh. Margulan, who dated them to the 8th–9th centuries and also attributed them to the Kypchaks (see (Mendikulov, 1950: 7)). Pyramidal mausoleums, which were common in Kazakhstan in the 8th–11th centuries, have survived to the present day in the Aral-Caspian area (Ajigali, 2002: 222–223, 226–231). Two mausoleums, octahedral in plan and likely pyramidal, built of adobe brick, were excavated at Krivaya Luka on the Lower Volga (Dvornichenko, Zilivinskaya, 2005; Zilivinskaya, 2009). Conclusions The analysis of graphic and written sources relating to the mausoleums of Majar suggests that these structures fall into ¿ve types: (1) Façade mausoleums, square in plan. These have no distinct portals, but the wall with the entrance is accented. Such structures are common throughout Western Central Asia. Mausoleums of this type include that of Iskhakata’s daughter in Fudina, Karshi (11th century), Mir Seid Bahrom in Kermine (Mankovskaya, 1979: 97, 102), Yarty-gumbez near Serakhs (13th century), KhudayNazar-ovliya near Bayram Ali (10th–12th centuries) (Pugachenkova, 1958: 286, 310–313), Khalifa Yerekhen in Mizdarkhan (9th–10th centuries), the mausoleum of Fakhraddin Razi in Kunya Urgench, the middle mausoleum in Uzgent (Yakubovsky, 1930: 45; Zasypkin, 1948: 45). Nearly all these structures have single domes, with the exception of the Fakhraddin Razi mausoleum which has a tent dome. Façade mausoleums with square plans also occur in Azerbaijan, but are rather rare there. (2) Portal mausoleums, i.e., those with distinctly protruding portals. Some have a single entrance accented by a portal, others have several entrances, one of which has a protruding portal. The presence of several entrances is a remnant of centric mausoleums, which did not survive to the Golden Horde period (Khmelnitsky, 1996: 123). There are two subtypes of portal mausoleums: those with a protruding portal and those in which the portal does not protrude and rests on robust pylons (peshtak). Memorial monuments with protruding portals are typical of Western Central Asia. Such are the mausoleums of Iskhak-ata in Fudina (10th century) (Mankovskaya, 1979: 97–102), Astana-baba, Serakhsbaba, Abu-Said, Parau-ata, Chugundor-baba (all date to the 11th–12th centuries), mausoleum No. 3 at Gek-gumbez (14th century) (Pugachenkova, 1958: 275–276, 278– 286, 299–303, 375), and the Rukhabad mausoleum in Samarkand (14th century). The peshtak-type portal is a distinctive feature of Middle Eastern architecture. It is also typical of Western Central Asian mausoleums. Examples include the Arabata mausoleum at Tim (10th century), and the southern

and northern mausoleums in Uzgent (12th century) (Zasypkin, 1948: 78), the Zengi-baba mazar (13th– 14th centuries), and mausoleums No. 1 and 2 at Gekgumbez (13th–14th centuries) (Pugachenkova, 1958: 371–375). All the main mausoleums of the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis are of that type (Nemtseva, Schwab, 1979). Mausoleums with peshtaks do not occur in Transcaucasia or in Asia Minor. (3) Tower mausoleums. These are of two subtypes: round and polygonal in plan. The former are common in Azerbaijan (Usseinov, Bretanitsky, Salamzade, 1963: 145; Bretanitsky, 1966: 110–115, 180–185) and Asia Minor (Stierlin, 1998: 50; Hillenbrand, 1994: 306–308, 541– 542). Most have tent domes and no protruding portals. All tower mausoleums of Majar, round and polygonal in plan alike, also had tent domes. In Azerbaijan, where most mausoleums are of the tower type, many polygonal mausoleums with tent domes are known. These include the mausoleum of Yusuf Ibn Kusseyir in Nakhichevan, Momine-khatun (12th century), the mausoleum in Khanega, Gyulistan in Juga (12th–13th centuries), the Dermichler mausoleum (14th century), KhachinDorbatly (14th century), Mir Ali (14th century), etc. (Usseinov, Bretanitsky, Salamzade, 1963: 80– 104, 127–162; Bretanitsky, 1966: 96–199). All tower mausoleums of Asia Minor, where they were extremely common during the Seljuk rule, have tent domes. Such are the mausoleums of Döner Kümbet at Kayseri (13th century), of Karamanoglu Alaeddin-Bey in Karaman (13th century), Hudavent Khatun Turbe in Nigde (14th century), etc. (Stierlin, 1998: 50–53; Hillenbrand, 1994: 306–311, 540–542). Mausoleums of that type occur in Iran (Hillenbrand, 1994: 283–286, 527–529). The Iranian tower Gumbede Kabus, built in 1006, is believed to have been the prototype of all the tower mausoleums. (4) Pyramidal mausoleums, polygonal in plan. These represent a rather rare archaic type of monument. Mausoleums of this type were common in Fergana, Jetysu, Central, Southwestern, and Western Kazakhstan and date within a broad interval – from the Early Middle Ages to the early 20th century (Pugachenkova, 1949: 61–67). Most are built of adobe and pakhsa (compacted clay), some are built of stone. The best known ones are Dengek and Kozu-Korpech in Jetysu, constructed of Àag on clay mortar. The former is 8 m high, the latter, 12 m high. G.A. Pugchenkova (Ibid.: 57–77) suggested that the earliest pyramidal mausoleums were constructed by the nomadic and semi-nomadic Turks (Seljuks), and that they had originated from mounds and ancient moundlike funeral monuments. Those early constructions may have been the pyramids on Cuman mounds, described by Rubruck (see above). A.Kh. Margulan, who described the pyramidal funeral monuments of Central Kazakhstan, dated them to the 8th–9th centuries and attributed them to the Kypchaks (see (Mendikulov, 1950: 7)). Pugachenkova



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(1949: 69–74) believed that the further evolution of pyramidal structures and their mergence with the Western Central Asian brick minarets resulted in the tower-like mausoleum with a tent dome. In Kazakhstan such funeral monuments occur even at modern cemeteries. (5) Multi-chamber mausoleums. These are conglomerates with no distinct structure and consisting of several structures adjoining one another. Memorial buildings of this type occur in large cemeteries in various part of the Muslim world. The analysis of the Majar mausoleums, then, offers an opportunity to draw certain conclusions relating to the origins of the memorial architecture in North Caucasus during the Golden Horde period. Speci¿cally, it is possible to separate the impact of Transcaucasian, Kypchak, and Western Central Asian traditions, the latter being predominant. The variety of architectural forms in the Golden Horde mausoleums can be explained by the fact that North Caucasus has always been a contact zone, a speci¿c corridor connecting the East with the West. This was a crossroads of cultures and traditions and architectural ones in particular. References Ajigali S.E. 2002 Arkhitektura kochevnikov. Fenomen istorii i kultury Evrazii. Almaty: Gylym. Ajimamedov R.E. 1992 Stranitsy istorii Prikumya s drevneishikh vremen. Budennovsk. Bähr K. 1839 Eine alte Abbildung der Ruinen von Madjar. In Beiträge zur Kenntnisse des Russischen Reiches, Bd. 3. St. Petersburg: Verlage der Kaiserlicher Akademie der Wissenschaften, pp. 55–96. Bretanitsky L.S. 1966 Zodchestvo Azerbaijana XII–XV vv. i ego mesto v arkhitekture Perednego Vostoka. Moscow: Nauka. Castagné J.-A. 1910 Drevnosti Kirgizskoi stepi i Orenburgskogo kraya. Orenburg: [Tipo.-lit. Tov. “Karimov, Khusainov i K.”]. (Trudy Orenburg. uchenoi arkhhiv. komissii; iss. 22). Dautova R.A. 1983 O rannei gruppe mavzoleyev Severnogo Kavkaza. In Novye arkheologicheskiye materialy po srednevekovoi istorii Checheno-Ingushetii, M.B. Muzhukhoyev (ed.). Grozny: CHIIISF, pp. 31–44. Dode Z.V. 2008 K istorii izuchenia goroda Madjara. In Materialy po izucheniyu istoriko-kulturnogo naslediya Severnogo Kavkaza. Iss. 8: Krupnovskiye chteniya 1971–2006. Moscow: Pamyatniki istoricheskoi mysli, p. 457. Dvornichenko V.V., Zilivinskaya E.D. 2005 Srednevekovye pogrebalnye sooruzheniya iz mogilnika Krivaia Luka v Astrakhanskoi oblasti. Nizhnevolzhsky arkheologichesky vestnik, vol. 7: 281–303.

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Received February 3, 2011.