Circassian Chronology


-Around 750,000 years ago: First appearance of human settlements in the Northwest Caucasus.

-More than 100,000 years ago: Paleolithic settlements established in Circassia.

-Neolithic Age: More settlements.

-Around middle of 3rd millennium BC: Appearance of Maikop culture is the Kuban. (First burial mound round in 1897). Appearance of Dolmen culture. Later, Dolmen People push Maikopians eastwards, Maikop culture, with significant infusion from the Dolmen People, engenders the family tree of the Circassians.

-Around 2,500 BC: Haitians found a Bronze Age civilization. They occupy central and southeast Anatolia. Perhaps part of, or kindred to proto-Northwest Caucasians.

-Around 2,000 BC: End of Haitian State. Language disappears.

-About 1,800 BC: Kaskians establish the mighty Kasku State in Anatolia. Some evidence suggests that these formed an important element of Northwest Caucasian lineage.

-By 2nd millennium BC: Dolmen People assimilated by native Northwest Caucasians.

-End of 12th century BC: Maikop culture destroyed by the Peoples of the Sea.

-Early 1st millennium BC: Colchian culture, associated with the Abkhaz, appears in the Caucasus.

-Late Bronze Age-early Iron Age: Cimmerians, later Alans, later Ossetes, displace proto-Circassian tribes in Central Caucasus and found Koban culture.

-8th century BC: Beginning of Iron Age in Northwest Caucasus.

-8th-7th centuries BC: Proto-Maeotians set up rudimentary(basic) state. They mount waves of raids into surrounding lands.

-6th century BC: First mention of Maeotians by ancient writers. They establish a state in steppes North of Black Sea. State survives for almost a millennium. Other kindred peoples begin to establish states: Kerkets, Achaens, Heniokhs, Toretians, etc.

-Late 7th-4th centuries BC:
Maeotian-Scythian period as interaction of Maeot (Caucasian) and Scythian (Iranian) cultures.

-7th-6th centuries BC: Greek colonies established on Eastern Shores of Black Sea. They last for a millennium.

-480 BC: Heterogeneous Bosporan kingdom established. Locals contribute dynasts. Period of prosperity and relative peace.

-By 5th century BC: Sinds, a people kindred to the Maeots, establish Sindika civilization with capital at Gorgippa.

-Almost 2,500 years ago: Sinds and Kerkets mentioned in Orpheuss epic of The Argonauts.

-3rd century BC-3rd century AD:
Maeotian-Sarmatian period as interaction of Maeot and Sarmatian (Iranian) cultures.

-64 BC: Establishment of Roman dominion on Eastern Black Sea coast.

-26 AD: Strabo describes Zyghoys, which name appears for the first time in annals of history and replaces old appellation Kerket.

-2nd century: Sanighs, Abaski and Apsiles replace Heniokhs, their forbears; Zyghoys and Achaens replaced by Zikhis, their descendants, in Roman annals.

-3rd-4th centuries: Goths established North of Black Sea. Battle constantly with Circassians.

-370: Gothic kingdom destroyed by Huns

-374: Huns invade Northwest Caucasus. Hinterland Maeotians remove to the safety of mountains, those on the Black Sea shore undisturbed.

-4th century: Byzantine fortresses appear on Black Sea coast and Taman Peninsula. Christianity introduced among some Circassians living in coastal areas.

-455: Vakhtang Gourgaslan conquers Abkhazia, hitherto under Greek domination.

-562: Avars defeat Circassians. Despite constant harassment, Circassia escapes Avar hegemony. Treachery of Khan Bayan immortalized in song.


-Early 8th century: Abkhazia establishes kingdom.

-By 10th century: Circassians combine into a single ethnic and linguistic entity.

-943: Massoudi describes Circassia.

-11th century: Mtislav routs Khazar army in Crimea. Defeats Kassogs (Kabardians) under Idar in 1022. Reidade slain

-12th-13th centuries: Reign of Queen Tamar (1184-1212). Some Circassian tribes fall under Georgian rule, which ends by 1424.

-1237: Kabardians occupy Crimea.

      -13th century: Mongols invade Circassia.

-13th-16th centuries: Byelorechenskaya culture and Eastern version. Heyday of Circassian feudalism.

-13th-15th centuries: Genoans establish trading colonies on the coasts of Circassia and Abkhazia, displacing Venetians.

-15th century: Tamerlane invades Caucasus and ends Mongol rule. Kabardians return home.

-1475: Ottoman replace Genoese in Western Caucasus.

-16th-17th centuries: Kabardians establish strong state in central North Caucasus. Inal the Great unites Circassia and Abkhazia in one empire.

-Beginning of 16th century: Cossacks make first appearance in North Caucasus.

-1557: Kabarda voluntarily incorporated into Russia. Start of controversy still alive today.

-1561: Ivan the Terrible weds Princess Maria of Kabarda to cement Union.

-Turn of 18th century: Cossacks firmly established in the Stavropol Krai. Submit to Tsar Peter the Great in 1712.

-1736: War breaks out between Turkey and Russia as a result of the formers intervention in Kabarda.

-September 18th 1739: Treaty of Belgrade acknowledges Kabardas independence.

- 1763: Russians build fortress at Mozdok in Kabarda, Easternmost point of Caucasian Military Line in Circassia. Line completed by of 1880s.

-1764: Kabardians protest foundation of Mozdok. Another delegate sent in 1771. All to avail---the die is cast.

-1768: Start of second Russian-Ottoman War. Turks attack Kuban, Kabardians sack Kizliar.

-1774: Treaty of Kuchuk Kaynarji: Turkey cedes Crimea and Kabarda to Russia.

-1783: Russia annexes Crimea. Some khans find refuge in Circassia.

-1784: Circassians and Nogais attack the Russians.

-1785: Sheikh Mansur appears on the scene. Early successes draw many North Caucasians to join him. Defeated by Russians at Tatartup in Kabarda.

-1787: Start of third Russian-Ottoman War. Russians defeat Circassians under Mansur.

-1791: Anapa taken by Russians. Mansur captured.

-1794: General revolt in Kabardino. Cause: the hated Russian courts.

-1808: Abkhazia annexed by Russia.

-1816: Kabardians finally subdued. Yarmolov appointed Viceroy.

-September 14, 1829: Treaty of Adrianople
: Turkey cedes Circassia to Russia.-July 1834: Urquhart's first landing in Circassia.-1836: Circassian declaration of independence published in Portfolio.
-1836-1839: Russia runs blockade of Circassias coast.

-Late 1836: HMS Vixen captured by Russians. Urquhart adventure in Circassia come to an end.

-1838: England recognizes Circassias independence.

-February-March 1840: Northwest Caucasian forces capture and destroy four Russian forts. Russia regains initiative soon after.

-1846: Shamil leads a foray into Kabardino, Chased out of Freytag.

-1857: Russians defeated in Crimean War. North Caucasian Issue
Treaty of Paris. Circassians resolve to stiffen resistance.

-August 1859: Shamil defeated.

-1859: Circassian War intensifies, Small successive waves of immigrants.

-June 1861: Great and Free Assembly established.

-1862: Circassian delegation dispatched to England to canvas support.

Circassians finally defeated. Great exodus begins.

-1877: Russian-Ottoman War. Émigré North Caucasian attack Western Circassia, subsequently defeated by Russians.

-1912-3: Kabardian revolt put down harshly.

-1917: North Caucasian Mountain Republic declared.

-1919: North Caucasian Emirate established. Abolished by the Bolsheviks in 1921.

-1921-2: Circassians divided into three areas: Kabardino, Balkaria, and
Karachay-Cherkessia Adigea.

-1929: Collectivization and rule of terror begin.

-December 1936: Kabardino-Balkarian Autonomous Oblast elevated to self-governing republic status.

-1936-8: Great Purges of Stalin smite Circassians.

-World War II: Some Circassians deported to Mozdok, seceded to North Ossetia, Shapsughia stripped of its autonomy.

-1957: 400th anniversary of annexation of Kabarda. First contact between Caucasus and Diaspora since end of World War I.


A long period of non-events, a much-needed breathing space.
-1990: Confederation of Mountain Peoples (KGNK) (re)created.

-May 1991: First International Circassian Congress (ICC) held in Nalchik. International Circassian Association (ICA) established.

-August 19, 1991: Russian putsch in Moscow causes Circassian nationalists to consolidate position.

-October 24, 1991: Cherkess Congress declares Republic of Cherkessia.

-December 1991: Collapse of Soviet Union.

-End 1991: Adigea and Karachai-Cherkess AO upgraded to republics within Russian Federation.

-1996: Russian forces defeated in Chechnya. Wave of instability ripples through North Caucasus. Balkars declare independence.

-November 1997: First session of Inter-Parliamentary Council held in Cherkessk. Non-Circassians regard this as first step towards creating Greater Circassia.

-1998: Moscow reorganizes and bolsters its political and military structures in North Caucasus.

-August 1998: Circassians in Kosovo voluntarily transferred to Adigea to escape ethnic war.

-April-May 1999: Presidential elections in Karachai-Cherkessk Republic. Tensions rise between Abaza-Circassians and Karachais.

-Summer 1999: Thousands of Circassians and Abazas protest the election of Semenov in the Karachai-Cherkessk Republic.

-Autumn 1999: Russia invades Chechnya. Unsettling silence from North Caucasian republics.

-March 2000: Circassians and Abazas resume demonstrations after lull. Demand restoration of Cherkess AO.
·         source : Amjad Jaimoukha, The Circassians: A Handbook