Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bronze Age Dolman Complex on Black Sea Coast



I do not know where this age came from in the title and it is nonsense.  These structures do conform to a Dolman building culture that coincided with the late Stone Age and the Bronze Age and is present coincidentally along Bronze Age sea lanes.  This region is remarkable because the technology is so extensively developed but otherwise it is all part of the same.

These buildings demonstrated local prestige to foreign traders coming through.  These traders evolved into the Atlantean sea borne factory culture that showed up in some form most anywhere either metal or customers existed.  There is also no reason to expect change or loss until even 1159 BC when the Atlantean world abruptly ended.

They really remind me of been permanent tribal totems which fits the time and place.  After that any other conjecture is blowing in the wind.  Thus we can presume that the fashion to construct upright dolmans and comparables like these unique boxes began about 2400 BC when the Atlantean world was on fire and reaching out to 1159 BC when the fire was extinguished.  At least that gives us a window to test data against.



25,000 Year Old Buildings Found In Russia

Sunday, December 1, 2013 14:47


In Russia, in the Caucasus mountains, not far from the cities Tzelentzchik, Touapse, Novorossiysk and Sochi, there are hundreds of megalithic monuments. The Russians call them dolmens. Russian and foreign archaeologists have not yet discovered their use. All these megalithic dolmens you see below in the pictures are dated from 10,000 years to 25,000 years ago, according to the website Kykeon.   Other archaeologists put the age of these megalithic structures at 4000 to 6,000 years old.  
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Thousands of prehistoric megalithic monuments are known throughout the world. Some of the least known outside the former Soviet Union, however, are those in the Caucasus. These dolmens cover the Western Caucasus on both sides of the mountain ridge, in an area of approximately 12.000 square kilometers of Russia and Abkhazia. 
The Caucasian dolmens represent a unique type of prehistoric architecture, built with precisely dressed cyclopic stone blocks. The stones were, for example, shaped into 90-degree angles, to be used as corners or were curved to make a perfect circle. The monuments date between the end of the 4th millennium and the beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C. 
While generally unknown in the rest of Europe, these Russian megaliths are equal to the great megaliths of Europe in terms of age and quality of architecture, but are still of an unknown origin. 

The Caucasian dolmens represent a unique type of prehistoric architecture, built with precisely dressed large stone blocks. The stones were, for example, shaped into 90-degree angles, to be used as corners or were curved to make a circle.


  

In spite of the variety of Caucasian monuments, they show strong similarities with megaliths from different parts of Europe and Asia, like the Iberian Peninsula, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Israel and India. A range of hypotheses has been put forward to explain these similarities and the building of megaliths on the whole, but still it remains unclear.




Approximately 3,000 of these megalithic monuments are known in the Western Caucasus, but more are constantly being found, while more and more are also being destroyed. Today, many are in great disrepair and will be completely lost if they are not protected from vandals and general neglect.

The dolmens are found in the area of Krasnodar.  Krasnodar  is a city and the administrative center of Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the Kuban River about 148 kilometers (92 mi) northeast of the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

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Concentrations of megaliths, dolmens and stone labyrinths have been found (but little studied) throughout the Caucasus Mountains, including the Abkhazia. Most of them are represented by rectangular structures made of stone slabs or cut in rocks with holes in their facade. These dolmens cover the Western Caucasus on both sides of the mountain ridge, in an area of approximately 12.000 square kilometres of Russia and Abkhazia.
The map above shows locations of known Dolmen structures. The original source for the following images came via a Russian Website

Map of dolmen locations


The dolmens have a limited variety in their architecture. The floor plans are square, trapezoidal, rectangular and round. All of the dolmens are punctuated with a portal in the center of the facade. While round portholes are the most common, square ones are also found. In front of the facade is a court that usually splays out, creating an area where rituals possibly took place. The court is usually outlined by large stone walls, sometimes over a meter high, which enclose the court. It is in this area that Bronze and Iron Age pottery has been found – which helped date these tombs -, along with human remains, bronze tools and silver, gold and semi-precious stone ornaments.

The repertoire of decoration for these tombs is not great. Vertical and horizontal zigzags, hanging triangles and concentric circles are the most common motifs. One decorative motif that is quite common is found across the top of the porthole slab. It can best be described as a lintel held up by two columns. Pairs of breasts, done in relief, have also been found on a few tombs. These breasts usually appear above the two columns of the porthole decoration. Perhaps related to these are the stone plugs, which were used to block the porthole, and are found with almost every tomb. They are sometimes phallic-shaped.
Some unusual items associated with dolmens are big round stone balls, double balls and animal sculptures.


Dolmen pyramid in Mamed canyon

One of the most interesting megalithic complexes – group of three dolmens – stands in a row on a hill above Zhane River on the Black Sea coast in the Krasnodar area near Gelendzhik, Russia. In this area there is a great concentration of all types of megalithic sites including settlements and dolmen cemeteries. Large stone mounds surrounded the two monuments.

The central dolmen is rectangular in plan, 4 x 4 meters, while the two flanking dolmens are circular, 4 and 5 meters in diameter. The two round dolmens had been bulldozed – probably in the 1950s – in order to harvest the surrounding trees, but the main structure of the central dolmen had not been damaged.
Another (fourth) dolmen near the Zhane River has a secret entrance at the back of the chamber, and a façade, dummy entrance and courtyard at the front of the dolmen. There in addition to these pristine dolmens were some ruined dolmens.
The dolmens have a limited variety in their architecture. The floor plans are square, trapezoidal, rectangular and round. All of the dolmens are punctuated with a portal in the center of the facade. While round portholes are the most common, square ones are also known. In front of the facade is a court that usually splays out, creating an area where rituals undoubtedly took place. 

The court is usually outlined by large stone walls, sometimes over a meter high, which enclose the court. It is in this area that Bronze and Iron Age pottery has been found – which helped date these tombs -, along with human remains and bronze tools and silver, gold, and semi-precious stone ornaments. The repertoire of decoration for these tombs is not great. 


Vertical and horizontal zigzags, hanging triangles and concentric circles are the most common motifs. One decorative motif that is quite common is found across the top of the porthole slab. It can best be described as a lintel held up by two columns. Pairs of breasts, done in relief, have also been found on a few tombs. These breasts usually appear above the two columns of the porthole decoration. 


Perhaps related to these are the stone plugs which were used to block the porthole and are found with almost every tomb. They are sometimes phallic-shaped. Some unusual items associated with dolmens are big round stone balls, double balls and animal sculptures.

The Caucasian dolmens were originally built in harmony with the natural landscape
 A long-term project to stody the dolmens ha been sponsored and administered by the Institute for Study of Material Culture History, Russian Academy of Sciences, St.Petersburg, since 1997

The Project was supported by  Russian Ministry of Culture (1998-2006); the State Committee for Protection of Cultural Heritage (Krasnodar area, Russia) (1998-2006); Russian Fund for Humanities (1999-2002, 2006); The Fund of the President of Russia (2001); National Geographic, Committee for Research and Exploration (2001, 2003)


1 comment:

John Jensen said...

Sorry to argue with you a little, but your basic premise is wrong. First I would paraphrase Buckminster Fuller's axiom that "Form follows Function", and with that, I would point out that ALL dolmens the world over survive with a single universal feature that is prevalent to the two basic designs, which is a very large, very heavy rectangular single (unbroken) stone slab for a covering. The stone slab often has an 'overhang' of about one third its length above the entry. As mentioned there are two general models. One is a model with very large and sometimes fitted side wall stones that the slab rests on, with one very small (generally round hole) entry, generally about 20" in width. The other is a very familiar large stone slab propped up on 3-4 menhirs, some quite high, where ground covering wast the most that could be said for walls, though more often they were open (no walls at all) beneath the slab. The rooms and standing slabs have another characteristic in common, and that is they are about the same size.

If dolmens are, as I suspect, a type of 'safe room' from very dangerous predator carnivores, then they did not shelter more than a family or two. A very small clan. Some much larger shelters, would protect dozens of people. I contend that the enclosed heavy side wall, enormous slab roof rooms were built as defense against very large carnivores, specifically T-Rex like predators.

You are aware, I suppose that within the last 3-4 years several non fossilized T-Rex bones have been C-14 dated, returning dates between 12K and 42K YBP? Dinosaurs, in fact did not all go extinct at the Younger Dyas boundary, and some theropods, sauropods and Pterodactyl type flyers etc. lived up into the late Holocene, as depicted world wide in all kinds of petroglyphs and clay pottery figurines.