The Semikarakory fortress of the Khazar kaganate: study results

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In the past several years the author has published more than 20 papersdescribing specific sections and facilities of the Khazar Semikarakory Fortress locatedin the Lower Don Region (See some papers on This paper contains only main conclusions derived by the author. The fortress plan isbased on the 'square-inside-the-square' approach; however, the builders did not succeedin constructing 90° angles. The outline of the fortress and its citadel is irregular (Fig. 1, 1).Mudbricks were used as main construction material. However, ruins of constructionsmade from burned bricks were found in the fortress citadel as well. Only khagans, and,possibly, kings (beks) had the right to build constructions using burned bricks. Suchcharacteristics as thin walls (less than 2 m), absence of towers, use of burned bricks, largeliving space helped the author conclude that Semikarakory was a temporary residenceof the khagan. This conclusion is attested by comparison of the Lower Don fortress andPliska, which was the residence of the khans of the First Bolgar Kingdom. Actually onlythe Pravoberezhnaya Tsimlyanskaya and Sarkel fortresses were true fortresses in theLower Don. Both had thick walls and towers.


Khazar kaganate, lower don region, fortresses

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