- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
99

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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TO DAGHESTAN
99
eastern Daghestan is Turski-Kumykian, but in
western Daghestan Avarian is mostly used.
The five biggest towns in Daghestan are : Petrovsk,
now called Makhach Kala, Temir-Khan-Shura,
now called Buinaksk, Derbent, Kizliar, and Hazaf-
Yrt, which, however, was almost wholly destroyed
during the civil war.
Where these mountain peoples, the Lesghis and
Chechens, came from is unknown to us ; and wc
know little of their prehistory, for they themselves
have no records, and are not spoken of by the early
historians of other peoples. Their languages, as wc
have already seen, have so far not yielded any real
information; philologists have not been able to
find any certain connections. Their heads on the
whole are very short and high, the length from the
ear to the crown of the head being very great;
the face is often of middling length, and in the
southern part, where they seem to be least mixed
with other peoples, the nose is often long and thin
and bent at the end, while the lower part of the
face is weak and small. They have brown eyes,
dark hair and beard ; and usually are of middling
height, but often they are tall. In North Daghestan
they may also be fair, slender, well made, lithe, and
wiry; but where they seem to be least mixed with
other peoples the type has a strong likeness to the
Armenian-Dinaric racial type, which may show
that originally they came from Hither Asia, where
in prehistoric and early historie times there seem
to have been many peoples with this racial type,
which may also have tåken to itself Semitic charac-

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