Many of those who visited the resorts of the Krasnodar Territory and went sightseeing, most likely, saw the dolmens or heard about them.
As the tour guides usually tell, dolmens are tombs on a grave of a person or members of one family made by the tribes in the mountainous regions and on the Black Sea coast that lived there in the second half of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC.
Most often, the dolmens were built from five stones, four of which were upright ones making up the walls supporting a horizontal stone slab, a roof. In the lower part of the front slab, a small round hole was made - 20 to 40 centimetres in diameter - that was once closed with a stone plug. Their side slabs are usually sandstone ones. Monolithic dolmens are less common, they are cut in the rocks, ground smooth inside and covered with a stone slab on top.
The design of dolmens usually arouse great curiosity and many questions, first of all, their shape and a small hole in the front slab that looks very unusual. According to one explanation, this is a ‘door’ for the soul of the deceased.
There is also a more fabulous explanation. The local people - the Adygeis - called a dolmen ‘epsun’ - a ‘house for dwarfs’. According to a legend, in ancient times, giants lived there who built such houses for their little neighbours. The Cossacks called them ‘strongmen’s huts’, which means that strong men only could make a dolmen. It is difficult to say whether we are talking about the titans, but there is also a legend about Atlantis to be once in the Black Sea region.
Be that as it may, the truth is that it was possible to build the dolmens thanks to outstanding strength or ingenuity. After all, dolmens come in a variety of sizes. The largest ones can be built from slabs weighing several tens of tonnes.
It still remains a mystery - who, when and why built the dolmens. Indeed, even if we take it for granted that the dolmens are land charnel vaults, we must admit that some of the dolmens are located in the same area as the mounds that are a more usual and traditional burial site. They also appeared in this area about 5,000 years ago. This means that it cannot be ruled out that dolmens at that time were only adapted for burying and not originally made for this purpose.
In addition, human remains were not always found in the dolmens, and some things that were found there - copper axes, axe-adzes, spearheads, clay vessels - belonged to a much later culture.
There is also a completely different hypothesis of the dolmen origin in the Black Sea region put forward by some scientists. They found out that a map of the dolmens superimposed on a geological map of the area shows that all these ‘strange structures’ are located on the fault lines in the earth's crust. As earthquakes are common in these places, the dolmens in this case initially served as acoustic resonators warning people of an imminent danger. This explanation is supported by the fact that all dolmen slabs were originally ideally fit together and created a tight resonating box, and the hole in this case has a clear and utilitarian function. This means that the people who built these dolmens were very good at both mathematics and knew much about geology.
By the way, there is also a fantastic explanation that the dolmens were built by aliens, the representatives of another civilization who visited the earth, and a stone platform - the ‘roof’ of the dolmens - was used as an UFO landing pad.
By the way, the word ‘dolmen’ is the Breton for a ‘stone table’. And dolmens are also on the coast of Portugal, Spain and France, as well as in the coastal regions of other countries. Whether the dolmen culture was brought to the Caucasus or, on the contrary, originated almost simultaneously in different regions of the planet, also remains a mystery. One theory is that it was brought here by the Basques who have many language and cultural convergences with the mountain peoples’ language and culture.
Another mystery is that the dolmen window most often faces the south - towards the sun, and if this is impossible, it faces the rocks, where the rays of the sun are reflected. Whether this is explained by worshiping the Sun or by using the dolmens as ancient astrological observatories - one can guess only. Today, there is no key to the mystery of the dolmens. As the locals assure, the only certain thing is that the dolmens give off a weird vibe. Someone saw strange ‘balls’ of light and rhombic images in the photos of dolmens, someone heard the dolmen ‘speaking’. And some believe that the dolmens can heal serious diseases.
One thing is clear: the dolmens are surrounded with an aura of myths growing over the years. Today, the tourists traveling here often touch a dolmen slab and make wishes. But they say that it is not the dolmen that carries out your wish. You just need to communicate with it, and it is better to do this alone and in silence: everyone who appeals to a dolmen receives an answer directly or indirectly.
To rephrase a well-known saying, we can say that any dolmen is worth seeing it, and if you're lucky, even hearing it. Moreover, some dolmens are well preserved. Despite heavy rains and destructive mudflows in these areas, they stand for many centuries and will stand for as long, if to exclude the notorious ‘human factor’, which, unfortunately, manifests itself in broken dolmen slabs and inscriptions on them. In addition, in the early 20th century, most of the 4,000 Caucasian dolmens were ruined to use the stone for the construction of roads and houses.
Today, there are well-preserved dolmens in the mountains near Gelendzhik, Sochi, along the highway from Novorossiysk to Adler. A monolith dolmen, carved into a large rock, can be seen on the Godlik River near the village of Volkonka close to the Lazarevskoye settlement.
You need to make a special trip to see some dolmens, and some dolmens, like the one in Blue Bay near the village of Bzhid (pictured), may be just a stone's throw away from the place where you stay in your vacations - just look at the map of the Krasnodar Territory.
In turn, hiking and travelling to the dolmens give a special pleasure, as they are perfectly combined with seeing the mountain rivers and waterfalls, visiting caves and grottoes, climbing hills, and being up on the mountain tops, you can enjoy beautiful views of the sea and the Caucasus mountains.