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Published on 26 October 2019

CULTURAL LANDSCAPES OF THE MOUNTAINS OF THE NORTH CAUCASUS: APPROACHES TO RESEARCH, RECONSTRUCTION AND PRESERVATION

E. Yu. Kolbovsky, M. N. Petrushina, L. A. Petrov, Z.Sh. Gagaeva

Cultural landscapes of the North Caucasus were created by the work of many generations of the Highlanders from regions of the Western, Central and Eastern Caucasus, and in the native habitats of indigenous ethnic groups with distinctive environmental practices. The originality of cultural landscapes was formed as a result of adaptation of traditional types of nature management to the unique landscape mosaic, and is expressed in the unique combination of residential complexes, mountain agricultural terraces and pastures with natural surroundings. An analysis of the literature and the experience of studying key mountain areas in the Galanchozh, Itum-Kalinsky and Sharoy regions of the Chechen Republic show that the current state of cultural landscapes can be characterized as critical with the ongoing destruction and ruinization of the former settlement, revegetation in some parts of landscape-economic areas and intensive uncontrolled pasture load in others.. The abandonment and desolation of the historical habitats of the mountain peoples are caused by the collapse of local communities, the loss of control over resources by local residents, the formation of a new enlarged "cutting" of land use, depopulation, the emergence of resource and tourist-recreational forms of exploitation of the territory. This phenomenon is proposed to be considered as a “mountaineering” of the Caucasus, in the sense that this sequence of events was realized (in various national invariants) in the second half of the 20th century on the vast space of the "Alpine arc". The specificity of the postmodern scenario of the North Caucasus development was manifested in the fact that the leading factor in the alienation of resources and the destruction of traditions was not private capital, but errors in public administration that led to a shift in the native ethnic areas, including due to the eviction of mountain ethnic groups, which led to more than a quarter-century gap in the traditions of staying in the enclosing landscape. The sequence of destruction of the cultural landscapes of the mountains is closely related to the features of their inherited structure: the distant and high-altitude villages and their adjacent landscape-economic area, the most vulnerable part of which is the mountainous terraces, become unused. The degradation of the cultural landscape entails the loss of the whole set of eco-service functions — environment-stabilizing, life-supporting, intangible, which contradicts both immediate aims and the long-term prospects for the region’s socio-economic development of the region. At the same time, in a number of regions of the North Caucasus, and especially in the mountainous part of the Chechen Republic, there is a "return" movement (approved, and partly initiated by the authorities) to traditional high-mountain habitats ("historical roots"), during which the efforts of private business and volunteers restore sacred centers (designed to serve as new points of growth) and there are the first signs of the re-development of the territory (small farms, seasonal shelters and roads) – a process that can be called "nativization".

CityMoscow, Grozny
CountryRussia
UDC911
Issue2019, № 3 (T. 11)
Key wordscultural landscapes of mountains, Chechen Republic, landscape-peasant areal, mountain terraces, GIS modeling, landscape management.
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Categories: Articles

Tags: Чеченская Республика, культурные ландшафты гор, ландшафтно-хозяйственный ареал, нагорные террасы, ГИС-моделирование, управление ландшафтами.

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ISSN 1998-4502 (Print)                                                            ISSN 2499-975Х (Online)