City of the Dead in North Ossetia
There are many places in Russia that are full of terrible secrets: Devil's den in Volgograd region, Mysnoy Bor in Novgorod region, Mountain of the Dead in Sverdlovsk region, known as the Dyatlov Pass. There are also places like that in Krasnoyarsk Territory, in Yakutia, in Kamchatka, as well as in the Caucasus. One of them is the Dargavs settlement, hidden in the middle of the Caucasus Mountains.
After surging of the infamous Kolka Glacier, which resulted in deaths of more than a hundred people, including Sergey Bodrov and his crew, and destroyed the road leading to Dargavs, leaving it practically disconnected from the outside world. There are only few people left in the village. Reaching it now is very hard and dangerous, but it's worth it.
For several centuries there's a necropolis with crypts and tombs next to North Ossetia's Dargavs. There were rumors that no one returns alive from there. Soviet scientists didn't care about these rumorts. In the late 1960s, they traveled to the Prigorodny district of North Ossetia for excavation work in hope of unraveling secrets of this sacred place. Just in case, they worked, examined soil samples with gloves. In the end they didn't find anything unusual. They tried to find plague pathogens, which significantly reduced the population of the region and turned Dargavs into city of the dead in the 16th century.
Plague was considered to be the most dangerous disease in the history of mankind. Fleas and ticks were carriers of pathogenic microorganisms responsible for the plague. And parasites retain pathological effect for seven weeks. It's said that when plague came to Dargavs, an unimaginable number of people died.
But in fact, there are no burials in Dargavs itself. Around hundred stone crypts are located in about a kilometer from the village, which is surrounded by majestic fortresses and towers of notable Ossetian resident.
Crypts are kingdom of the deceased. Some are above the ground - their roofs look like a pyramid, built from slate tiles; others look different.
Nnecropolis resemblesEgyptian pyramids or Hindu temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, dedicated to Vishnu, keeper of the universe, who fights against evil and creates link between people and the universe. Khmer temples usually weren't a place for meeting of believers. It was a place where gods dwelled. Central buildings could be accessed only by representatives of religious and political elite. However, Angkor Wat is different because it was a place where kings were buried.
In Ossetia, you can understand how rich a family is by how its burial site looks. Apparently, crypts with pyramidal roofs were built for representatives of noble families. Since villagers buried their loved ones with clothes and personal belongings, scientists managed to gather a rich collection of household items - jewelry, weapons, ceramics. The only remaining mystery - boats, in which some remains have been found.
Perhaps these boats wouldn't be called boats, if a paddle wasnt' found near one of them. Presence of a boat and a paddle in the mountains remains a mystery. There's a speculation about the ancient cult of personification of primitive terror and darkness of Greek mythology, which had an enormous influence on the development of world culture and created countless religious ideas about a man, heroes and gods. Perhaps residents of Dargava believed that deceased need boats to reach the river in the realm of the dead.