The Nakh (or Vainakh) medieval towers were a characteristic feature of medieval architecture of the Nakh peoples in Chechenya and Ingushetia, with few parallels outside that region. Some towers were used as dwellings, others had a military purpose; some combined both functions.
The roots of Nakh tower architecture seem to be very ancient. Similar dwellings were built in the 2nd and 1st millennia BC by the Hurrians and Urartians, believed to be close relative to the Nakh peoples. According to a Roman author of the 1st century BC, the people of Colchis on the west shores of the Black Sea, also connected to the Nakh, lived in log towers with square foundation, tapering walls and pyramidal roofs. The invariably square floorplan of the Nakh towers contrasts with the round towers built by peoples south of the Caucasus.
The oldest fortifications in the Nakh area date from the 3rd millennium BC. The oldest remains of buildings with the characteristics of Nakh towers date from the 1st century AD, and can already be distinguished into residential and military types. Construction greatly increased in the 12th and 13th centuries. Nakh tower architecture and construction techniques reached their peak in the 15th–17th centuries.
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