Photo © Tatyana Kozlova
The Dargavs necropolis was once an Ingushetian 'city of the dead', largely built from the sixteenth century onwards. It was used extensively in the eighteenth century - along with specially-built quarantine houses - to contain plague victims while they expired. Those who had no surviving relatives would simply wait in the cemetery until they passed away. Loved ones were buried along with their clothes and belongings.
The valley stretches for seventeen kilometres, while the cemetery contains almost a hundred ancient stone crypts. Each crypt belongs to a single family or clan.
Today the necropolis lies within a North Ossetia region which was expanded upon the arrival of Russian domination in the area.
Original text copyright © P L Kessler and the History Files. Image copyright © respective copyright holders. An original photo page for the History Files. Go back, return home, or go to the Modern Ossetia page.