July 1, 2022

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Its peculiarity goes beyond the noble mountain ranges. There is an ancient cemetery known among the locals as the “City of the Dead”. Nearly a hundred funerary vaults dating back to the 14th century are symbolic representations of Ossetian architecture. Each one belongs to a family; The larger its structure, the more bodies were buried there.

According to history, cellars were used as a place of voluntary exile of patients suffering from the cholera epidemic, which severely affected mountain dwellers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Then the infectious disease claimed the lives of many people, interrupting entire breeds. As a result, the population of North Ossetia decreased from 200 thousand at the end of the 18th century to 16 thousand in the middle of the 19th century.

In front of each tomb there is a well. They say that as soon as the body was buried, a coin was thrown in the last place; If it hits the stone below and makes a sound, this means that the soul of the deceased has reached heaven.

During the studies of the crypts, archaeologists found objects belonging to different historical eras. The most unbelievable were some of the boats that had several bodies inside. An oar was found in one of them.

According to experts, ship burials are a widespread tradition among primitive marine cultures. The grandparents usually put in the graves of their relatives everything they used in life, according to their belief that it would benefit them in the afterlife.

But why did medieval Ossetia need boats in the mountains without large navigable tributaries? This is one of the mysteries that science still remains unexplained.

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However, according to local beliefs, the dead must cross a river to reach the other world, so burying them in these boats “helped” them on the journey.

This remote place also has a breathtaking landscape of the highest mountains, imposing towers on its peaks that communicate remote villages and unspoiled nature as in few other places, combined with the unrepeatable Caucasian cuisine and the infinite hospitality of Ositas ..

(taken from orb)