KOCHKAROV U.Yu., ZHUKOVSKY M.O. Some Issues of the Humara Fortress Planning and Fortification

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.4.15 

Umar Yu. Kochkarov

Candidate of Sciences (History), Head of the Scientific Branch Archive,

Institute of Archaeology RAS,

Dmitriya Ulyanova St, 19, 117292 Moscow, Russian Federation

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Mikhail O. Zhukovsky


ANO “Contemporary Technologies in Archaeology and History”,

Varshavskoe Shosse, 79, Bld. 2, 117556 Moscow, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The territory of Karachay-Cherkessia since ancient times was a densely populated region. Life was especially intense in the era of the Early Middle Ages. In the period from the 8th to the 10th centuries the territory of modern Karachaevo-Cherkessia was in the sphere of interests of a powerful state association – the Khazar Khaganate. To protect their northern borders from the onslaught of the Arab caliphate and to protect the caravan routes in the upper reaches of the river Kuban, Khaganate built Humara fortress – one of the largest fortresses in Eastern Europe.

Methods and materials. Based on materials from the excavations of the 70s – 80s of the 20th century (E.P. Alekseeva, Kh.K. Bidzhiev), as well as new materials obtained during the research of recent years (2007–2018) (U.Yu. Kochkarov), we can say that the main population of the site was a military garrison consisting mainly of the Alano-Bulgarians. The Bulgarian population dissolved after the dissolution of the Khaganate in the local environment. The fortresses is a 25 hectare area protected by a strong (4–7 m wide and 10 m high) wall of well-hewn stone blocks that has been preserved in the form of earthen ramparts that keep the remains of walls and battle towers under them. In the process of the work at Humara settlement, a high-precision three-dimensional computer model of the surface of the settlement was created by photogrammetric processing of the results of low-altitude aerial photography of the territory of the monument carried out by an unmanned aerial vehicle over an area of about 50 hectares.

Analysis and Results. During the computer processing of aerial photography materials carried out automatically in the software of Agisoft Photoscan Pro, a cloud of high-density points (about 0.8 billion units) was obtained, which characterizes, with a high degree of accuracy, the microrelief of the surface of the settlement. The computer model of the microrelief of the Humara settlement does not only allow to realize three-dimensional visualization of the monument in various views and perspectives, but is also a productive analytical tool that makes it possible to reveal the characteristic features of the layout and spatial organization of the settlement hidden in its microrelief.

Key words: Humarа fortress, Khazars, fortification, planigraphy, three-dimensional model, photogrammetry, orthophotoplan.

Citation. Kochkarov U.Yu., Zhukovsky M.O. Some Issues of the Humara Fortress Planning and Fortification. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 225-235. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.4.15.

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Some Issues of the Humara Fortress Planning and Fortification by Kochkarov U.Yu., Zhukovsky M.O. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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