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Scytho-Nakh Theory

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Scytho-Nakh theory, or Alano-Nakh theory, stipulates that Nakhs constituted a main population segment of Caucasian Alania during its existence in 4th-13th cc., and the Nakhs people are descendents of the Middle Age Alania. The Alano-Nakh theory stops short of claiming Alano-Sarmatian-Scythian linguistic continuity, and does not claim that territorially the Nakh language was spread in all of the Scytho-Sarmatian world.


[edit] History of the hypothesis

The Nakh people do not have a historical memory recording their Alanian links beyond their common Caucasian Nart epos. The concept of Alano-Nakh continuity may have appeared during Soviet times (Kuznetsov B.A. "Alania...", but it was formulated in the early post-Soviet times, when the constituent peoples of the former USSR started re-examination of their individual history, and when the weakened enforcement system allowed appearance of thought independent from the central authority.

[edit] Structure of the hypothesis

The Alano-Nakh hypothesis is predominantly historical theory, based on historical facts and devoid of linguistical and superiority pretensions. The premises of the theory are:

1. Nakhs are Caucasian aborigional people, with the history of their development rooted in the general Caucasian history. The proto-Nakh people separated into two major branches, Adygs and Nakhs, during historical times. A recent historical development was a further split of the Nakh branch into Vainakh (Ingush) and Nakh (Chechen) sub-branches.

2. Nakhs constitute a single largest community of the Caucasian people located in the N.Caucasus.

3. During Early Middle Ages and Middle Ages, when existed the N.Caucasian Alania, its single largest constituent component remaining into the modern times could only be the Nakh people.

Because of its short history, the Alano-Nakh theory is mostly undeveloped in general, and completely undeveloped in detail, but at the same time it rests on a rich fund of accumulated archeological and documental material, and fits well into the global historical picture of the N.Caucasus and the N.Pontic area.

[edit] Objections to the hypothesis

The skeptical attitude afforded to a relatively small people with a big claim is well justified. However, because the process of re-examininging the history of the peoples and the states in the area had only started, the theory has as few scholarly contenders as the proponents.

However, because the Alano-Nakh theory stipulates that the Digorians belonged to the Nakh family of peoples as recently as the 18th c., it inherently contradict the mainstream Scytho-Ossetian and Scytho-Iranian theories, and thus is in opposition with the prevailing concepts.

[edit] Historical references

R.D.Arsanukaev denotes that the Arab historian of the 9th century Yakubi, describing battles between Khazars and Arabs in the 8th century, in the Dagestan territory records a number of statelets, such as Mascat, Tabarsaran, Tumanshah, Zirikiran, Khamzin, and others, but west from Dagestan lists only Alans, and does not mention any other not-Alanian tribes or political entities which would be possible to associate with the ancestors of Nakhs. If the Nakhs were not covered by the term "Alans", Yakubi would certainly mention along with the number of statelets in Dagestan, naming a very large Nakh ethnic massiv (Arsanukaev R.D. "Vainahs...", p. 99).

[edit] Bibliography

  • Kuznetsov B.A. "Alania in the 10th-13th cc.", Ordjonikidze, 1971
  • Kodzoev N.D. "Alans", Moscow, 1998
  • Kuznetsov B.A. "Notes on Alans' history", Vladikavkaz, 1992
  • Arsanukaev R.D. "Vainakhs and Alans", Baku, 2002

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