Chechen-VAİNAKH Watch Towers and Irish Round Towers
Chechen-VAİNAKH Watch Towers and Irish Round Towers
by Ass. Prof. Erol YILDIR (ENGANOY)
Opposed to the general assumptions, man's interest in high buildings is a fairly old tendency. These kind of buildings built by men have been the
ones of the first architecture examples since the first periods of history. However, these first architecture examples were built by using wooden
materials. In Çatalhöyük dated back to 6000 B.C., tower drawings made of wood and used in death rituals were seen. In accordance with the
developments in wall construction techniques in world architecture, those towers have changed in time.
By looking at the remnants that have reached today we can understand that the construction of high buildings for defense started since the antique
eras in which city-states were founded. In many regions of the world, tower construction was commonly implemented in different eras with different
purposes. However, only a small portion of those buildings have reached our day. Some of the towers that reflect the architectural knowledge and the
life characteristics in which they were built are located in Caucasia.
There are hundreds of these kind of towers in Daryal Strait and on mountainous Ingus-Chencen lands in Caucasia. We can also see these kind of towers
on Ireland island which is very far from Caucasia. In scientific literature, John F. Baddeley drew attention to this similarity in 1940. In his work
"The ! Rugged Flanks of Caucaus", except from this similarity Baddeley shows the similarities between the remnants of the building in Edisa region
which is located near Kalvat village in Osetya and the Tihuanaka buildings that are located near the Titicaca river coast on the borderline between
Peru and Bolivya. According to the academician Melitsev Bekov, these buildings have been inherited from "Kelts". However, Baddeley claims that those
buildings have something to do with the societies mentioned in Nart epic poems.
Our study on Vainakh Towers that are a part of Caucasian Towers having similar features with Irish Towers was published some years ago. The topic of
this paper is the similarities that are also mentioned briefly in that study. Besides, these similarities were brought to the agenda in Marje cyber
medium in the last months and presented to the attention of the members. What can be the reason for these similarities between some arctitectural
buildings that are many kilometers far from each other and that are located in two different parts of Europe? Under the light of which technical or
traditional knowledge could the ancient Irish and Caucasian tower masters reach the common results and similar styles in their architectural works?
Can this similarity lead us to the conclusion that Irish me! n (or Kelts) are Caucasian-origined in their historical roots? To what extent is the
claim of Melitsev Bekov that the buildings in Osetya have been inherited from Kelts true? When we look at the similarities, it is possible to ask more
questions about this topic.
However, in this paper we are not going to seek answers to these questions but are going to compare the Irish Towers to Vainakh Towers in Caucasia in
terms of style, function and technique. Technically speaking, these comparisons have come to existence as a result of the various sources written on
Irish Towers (L.Barrow, P. Callahan, various web sites etc.) and the information we obtained from our own observations in Caucasia supported by
different sources (Aziyev-Çahkiyev, M. Mujuhoyev etc.) However, the reader should take our observations about the towers in both countries as only a
situation evaluation and should understand that we do not have a claim to seek for a similar root between Irish men and Causasians by looking at our
focus on those similarities.
Irish Round Towers and Vainakh Watch Towers are not only identical in their style but also in function, technique and materials used. Before listing
these similarities, it is necessary to dwell upon the most obvious difference between the two tower types. This fundemental diffrence is that whereas
Irish Towers were constructed in cylindrical structure and circular plan, Vainakh Towers were constructed in square plan and edged form. Here some
features worth remembering should be noticed. In accordance with the plain geographical structure and the steep slopes of the island, Irish Towers
were constructed in cylindrical structure in order to provide better defense against the invasive destruction attacks. In case of an attack from all
sides of the tower, the circular plan was more functional than the square plan. There was no such a requirement! for Vainakh Towers that were
constructed on mountainous and high regions.
Furthermore, the tower construction of the circular plan was a difficult technique required more effort and care when compared to the square-plan
towers. Another reason for Vainakh Towers made of square plan was that this kind of plan carried a more functional characteristic in multi purpose
buildings. In buildings constructed only for defense, circular plan and cylindrical structure carried a more functional feature. For that reason,
diffrent from the Irish Towers that are constructed only for defense, multi purpose Vainakh Towers were not built in circular plan because it was
unnecessary to do so. In fact, some Caucasian construction masters implemented this kind of circular plans in some of their works. For instance,
Krugliy grave monuments in Vovninski Bing in Chechenya and in Muhal region of Kabarday Balkarya were constructed in circular plans and had the same
stone work and the sharp semi domes with the Irish Towers. Similarly, the Irish construction masters knew how to build square-plan towers. For
example, the remnants of the buildings in Glendalough-Trinity are of this kind.
The scientists who searched the Irish Towers claimed that Irish tower masters constructed these buildings for defense by having inspiration from
Byzantines. This reflection about the roots of Irish Towers has some true aspects but can lacks some information. In fact, the tradition of tower
architecture was commonly seen both in almost all the regions of Caucasia .......