Dolmens – one of the most amazing secrets of the planet. Huge stone structures of immaculate geometric form, built thousands of years ago, who created them and why? Why did the ancient people need to make great efforts to cut down, the most difficult “transportation, handling of the hardest boulders and their incredibly accurate installation in a strict order?” There is no answer to these questions yet.
Dolmens are ancient megalithic (with the Greek “mega” – a huge “cast” stone) of a certain form. In the simplest version, these are three stones, put in the form of the letter P.
The origin of the word “dolmen” is associated with historical error:
The French archaeologist Voden, who did not know the true age of the constructions, attributed them to the Celts, in the Celtic dialect “dol” means the table, the “men” stone).
In fact, dolmens are much older: from 8000 BC. in India until 1400 BC. in the Caucasus. Although the dating is inaccurate, scientists also suggest that the buildings may be even older.
The Megrels called dolmens “ozvale”, “sadzvale” (receptacles of bones), as well as “madishkoude” (houses of giants), Abkhazians – “adamra” (ancient tombs).
Dolmens can be seen in England, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Africa and even in India and Korea, many well-preserved dolmens are in Russia and the North Caucasus.
Adygeans used for their designation the word “testun” (“spoiled”, “spyun”), which means “dwarf house”. According to legend, in ancient times in the mountains lived tribes of dwarfs and giants. Small and weak dwarfs were not able to build their own homes to hide from the weather. Giants, looking at how hard it is for them to live, pitied the tiny neighbors.
Each giant easily broke a stone slab in the mountains and, putting it on his shoulders, carried to the place of construction. Instead of doors in the front plate a hole in the form of a rectangle or arch is punched. Through them, dwarfs allegedly drove into the “house” riding on hares.
This is just one of many legends about the origin and construction of dolmens. What was the real way of their erection and appointment – scientists can only guess.
In many dolmens, burials have been found: ancient bones, household items – arrowheads, amber beads, flint axes, pottery chips. All these finds belong to different historical epochs, from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages, therefore it is difficult to determine exactly the period of origin of dolmens.
But the version about using them for ritual purposes found many supporters.
In her favor, the fact that sometimes builders imitated the entrance with false jams, while the real one was on the other hand, speaks for her.
It’s very much like trying to protect graves from desecration.
And if this is so, then it is quite understandable why the entrances are oriented to the sides of the world – so ancient people performed religious rituals associated with the cult of the dead. However, many modern researchers say that to arrange burials in dolmens became much later, when the original appointment of mysterious structures was already forgotten.
Sometimes on the roofs of dolmens there are round platforms, which have edges at the edges, casting a shadow in clear weather.
It is not excluded that in this way the priests watched the Sun and compiled a calendar.
Or maybe these stone heavy buildings served as a kind of symbol of the power of the people, such as temples or tombs?
As to how the builders of dolmens moved the stone masses, there are a lot of assumptions.
Some researchers are convinced: the dolmens were collected from eruptive boulders carried by glaciers for considerable distances. Builders rolled natural blocks on wooden platens with the help of leather belts, and to install the top slab made a mound of sand and clay.
Perhaps, some number of dolmens could be collected in this way. But it is very doubtful that the last ice age would leave our ancestors hundreds of thousands of identical plates measuring 2×3 meters.
Most likely, the builders extracted material in the quarries.
According to the researcher Yu.N. Voronov, “the breaking of plates was made with the help of wooden pegs, hammered into holes, hollowed out along the contour. Pegs poured water: swelling, they broke off the plates of the required size. ”
Despite the popularity of this version, it remains unclear what happened to the traces of holes and chips that were supposed to remain from the works.
Trying to solve this riddle, the scientists set an experiment to build a dolmen. The experiment showed that for the erection of a stone structure people did not need much, it was also necessary to use the simplest tools. But then why did not they build other buildings in this way? Why do we need dolmens in such quantities?
The experimenters themselves believe that everything is rather trivial: dolmens were used to store food and weapons. Unfortunately, this hypothesis is weak – dolmens are located too far from the expected places of settlements.
But every year, scientists receive more and more reliable information, which once will solve the riddle of dolmens.