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All over the world, megaliths are widespread – structures of large stones created by ancient cultures. These are menhirs – individual tall stones, dolmens – tombs and places of worship built of stones, stone labyrinths. For archaeologists, they serve as sources of information about ancient cultures, for tourists – objects that are interesting to visit, esotericists often consider them places of power and repositories of ancient knowledge.
On its vast territory, Russia has preserved monuments of the most diverse cultures. Almost in any region you can find your own megalithic structures that arose thousands of years ago. The most famous of the megaliths of Russia will be listed here.
- Overview of the most famous megaliths of Russia
- 1st place: Thunder stone
- 2nd place: Dolmens of the Western Caucasus
- 3rd place: Horse-stone
- 4th place: Northern labyrinths
- 5th place: Deer stone
- 6th place: Megaliths of Vera Island
- 7th place: Akhunovsky menhirs
- 8th place: Tarkhatinsky megalithic complex
- 9th place: Mostischensky labyrinth
- 10th place: Kindyakovsky stone
- 11th place: Tomb of Shepsi
Overview of the most famous megaliths of Russia
|Rating of the most famous megaliths of Russia||1||Thunder stone||5.0|
|2||Dolmens of the Western Caucasus||4.9|
|6||Megaliths of Vera Island||4.5|
|8||Tarkhatinsky megalithic complex||4.3|
|11||Tomb of Shepsi||4.0|
1st place: Thunder stone
The thunder stone is a lump, according to legend, broke off from the rock when struck by lightning. It was originally located in the village of Konnaya Lakhta, now part of St. Petersburg. In 1769 he was taken to the Senate Square of St. Petersburg and became the basis for the Bronze Horseman's pedestal.
The Bronze Horseman arose thanks to the desire of Catherine II to create a monument to the centenary of Peter's accession to the throne. The French sculptor Etienne Falconet was entrusted with the idea. Tom came up with an innovative idea to use a solid natural stone as a pedestal. A suitable lump was offered by the peasant Semyon Vishnyakov, who had previously wanted to split it into pieces and sell it, but could not. After the extraction of the stone, a reservoir appeared in its place, which was named the Petrovsky Pond. Now this pond is protected as a natural monument.
The initial weight of the boulder was 2000 tons, height – 8 meters, length – 13 m, width – 6 m. Before transportation, part of the boulder was cut off, and it began to weigh about 1500 tons. The chipped pieces were then reattached to the megalith. In November 1769, the stone began to be transported, delivered by March 1770. The monument was opened on August 7, 1982, when 100 years have passed since the ascent of Peter I to the throne.
2nd place: Dolmens of the Western Caucasus
In Europe, India, Korea, North Africa, dolmens are widespread – tombs and other structures made of stones. The name comes from the Breton language, where taol maen means “stone table” – the first dolmens discovered, located in Brittany, resembled tables in shape.
On the territory of Russia, dolmens were found in the Western Caucasus – in Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Adygea, as well as in the Stavropol and Krasnodar regions. Caucasian dolmens are usually made up of 5-6 boulders and look like a closed box that has a door with a round or oval opening in it.
Dolmens were built 4-5 thousand years ago – at the same time when the Egyptians began to build the pyramids. Similar structures have been found in the Mediterranean – it is believed that it was from there that the tradition passed to the Caucasus. Just like the Egyptian pyramids, dolmens were used as tombs. Also, some of them acted as altars or places of worship.
Since the 90s, dolmens have attracted lovers of mysticism. A literature appeared in which stone tombs were called “places of power” or “portals to other worlds.” This attracted the attention of tourists to the structures; to attract them, new structures were even created, which were passed off as ancient.
The condition of many dolmens is now deplorable, the stones are being pulled away by vandals, and the structures are also being destroyed for natural reasons.
3rd place: Horse-stone
In the Scandinavian countries, as well as on the Kola Peninsula and in Kaleria, there are seids – sacred objects of the Sami. Seids are stone pyramids and other megaliths, as well as simply memorable places in the taiga, tundra or mountains – a stump, lake or rock. There is a lone seid in the Tula region – it was called the Horse-stone.
The horse-stone is a megalith weighing more than 20 tons, standing on three other stones – the “legs” of the horse. The boulder is located in the valley of the Krasivaya Mechi river, near the village of Kozie. The megalith consists of sandstone, came to the surface in the last ice age, when the river valley arose.
Not far from the megalith is a stone altar with a depression for a sacrificial bowl. Here, until the 19th century, sacrifices were made annually to prevent the loss of livestock. Around the Horse-stone itself, ritual plowing was carried out – they made a circular furrow with a plow or a plow. Now some people believe that megalith gives men masculine strength, and helps women find a child.
A protective zone with a radius of 50 meters has been created around the boulder, where it is forbidden to make fires, graze livestock and litter. The stone is recognized for its cultural and scientific significance.
4th place: Northern labyrinths
In the north of Europe – in Karelia and Scandinavia, the Kola Peninsula, as well as on the British Isles, the White Sea islands and Novaya Zemlya, labyrinths made of boulders have been discovered. In total, about 300 of them are known, of which 50 are in Russia. Their shape is usually spiral. You can find them far from your home, where they are better preserved. Labyrinths are often found on islands and peninsulas, near the sea, or in river valleys.
There is no consensus as to why the northern labyrinths were built. Archaeologist Alexander Spitsyn, who wrote the scientific article “On the Northern Labyrinths” in 1904, suggested that the ancient northern peoples had a single pagan culture, and the labyrinths were of great importance in it. Later, researchers associated these structures with the cult of the dead.
The most famous among the Russian northern labyrinths are the labyrinths of the Big Zayatsky Island. There are 13 or 14 of them on the island, all of them are located in its western part, near the Signal Mountain. Apart from them, there are also other megaliths – dolmens, a stone with a “solar rosette”, burial mounds. There are labyrinths on other Solovetsky Islands; in total, 35 such buildings have been found on the archipelago.
5th place: Deer stone
Deer stones are located in Altai, Tuva and Transbaikalia, as well as in Northern Mongolia. These are stone slabs on which various images are engraved or painted with ocher – most often deer. The stones are about 3 thousand years old, from the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age.
Plates are usually assembled in groups. They were installed at the resting places of soldiers or sacrifices. Their height is 1-5 meters. Since the deer was a sacred animal for Siberian shamans, it was he who was depicted on the stones. The deer often acquired a bird's beak or a sun disk on its horns. Megaliths have been installed for five centuries, the painting technique has been constantly improved – from primitive drawings on the very first stones to real works of art.
Among the deer stones, the most famous are such megaliths as the Chuisky deer stone – part of the Altai sanctuary Adyr-Kan, Altan-Sergei – the landmark of the Tamchinsky datsan in Buryatia, the Ivolgian deer stone in Irkutsk.
6th place: Megaliths of Vera Island
On the Vera island of Lake Turgoyak in the Chelyabinsk region there are several megaliths: menhirs, dolmens and a stone tomb. The monuments were erected 6 thousand years ago. In the 19th century, there was an Old Believer community here. There is a legend that the community was founded by the nun Vera, who, together with a local fisherman, built all the structures. In fact, the Old Believers did not participate in their construction, except that they cut through the windows and cleared the doorways.
Two of the structures have been most studied. The first megalith is an ancient temple complex 18 meters long and 6 meters wide. It consists of three chambers connected by corridors. 65 meters west of the first is the second megalith, 8 meters long and 4 meters wide, consisting of two chambers. There are recesses and shelves on which ritual objects were probably placed. Also on the island there are several cult sites with menhirs, an ancient quarry and a tomb, and the ruins of an Old Believer skete.
It is planned to open an archaeological reserve and a museum on the island. Some people consider the structures on the island a powerful bioenergy source and come to the island to “recharge” it.
7th place: Akhunovsky menhirs
Akhunov Menhirs are 13 megaliths located near the village of Akhunovo in Bashkiria. Ten stones are collected in a single complex, three others stand not far from them one by one. In the middle of the complex, at a distance of 15 meters from each other, there are two large stones, around them are smaller stones. The remaining three menhirs are to the north-east of the complex. The height of the megaliths is from 70 centimeters to two meters.
The stones were discovered by ethnographers of the Chelyabinsk University in 1996. The dating of the stones is different. Three separate megaliths are considered the most ancient – their age is determined as 14-15 thousand years. Later, about 5 thousand years ago, two large stones appeared in the center of the complex, and after another thousand years – stones around them.
Akhunovsky megalithic complex is similar to Stonehenge. It is believed that, like Stonehenge, it was used to observe the stars. The purpose of the three megaliths outside the complex is not so clear, there is a version of a sundial, but the stones are not very convenient for this. The complex is also considered a place of ancient shamanic rituals. Stones attract people interested in esotericism – they are looking for ancient knowledge here, seeking to gain strength and insight.
Excursions are conducted to the place where the megaliths are located. After vandals destroyed five stones in 2005, a fence was built around the stones and they began to charge an entrance fee of 40 rubles.
8th place: Tarkhatinsky megalithic complex
The Tarkhatinsky megalithic complex is located in the Altai Republic, 25 kilometers southwest of the village of Kosh-Agach. It is a circle with a diameter of 60 meters, made of stones. On the stones, drawings were discovered that were made in the Bronze Age, 4 thousand years ago. Megaliths are precisely oriented to the cardinal points – there are Western and Eastern gates formed by two pairs of megaliths. On the summer equinox, when the sun sets over the horizon, the western stones cast a shadow exactly on the eastern ones, forming a corridor. This happened 4 thousand years ago, but is not happening now, because the axis of the Earth has shifted.
Megaliths were discovered in 1996, during the expedition of the Gorno-Altai University. The exact time of the construction of the complex is not known, it is only known the time when the drawings were applied to the stones. The stones are magnetic, there is a geomagnetic anomaly inside the circle. An abnormal magnetic field affects the behavior of humans and animals – perhaps some rituals were performed here, requiring an altered state of consciousness.
Also, the circle of megaliths could serve as an ancient observatory. This is evidenced by its structure and shape, similar to those of Stonehenge, as well as many drawings on stones depicting the movement of the Sun. There is also an assumption that the circle of stones symbolizes the structure of the solar system.
The locals have legends about how the megalithic complex arose. According to one of the myths, the stones were brought by the hero Irbizek. The complex itself is also called the “Stone Cradle”.
9th place: Mostischensky labyrinth
Mostischensky labyrinth is located in the Voronezh region, in the Lukodonye valley, on the right bank of the Potudan river. The maze consists of a platform in the center and six elliptical rings around it. The larger diameter of the structure is 40 meters, the height is no more than 50 centimeters. A labyrinth of chalk stones has been built, and several boulders from granite – an atypical rock for this area, will also come across.
Mostishchenskoe settlement, on the territory of which the labyrinth is located, was discovered in 1957. The settlement appeared here in the 6th century BC, when the Scythians lived on this place. However, the labyrinth appeared here even before the Scythians. The culture that could create it is called “Ivanobugorsk” – except Mostish, its traces were found only on Ivanovo Burg. This culture existed in the III millennium BC and preserved the way of life of the Stone Age, although the bronze one had already come around.
The purpose of the maze is not entirely clear. It may have been used to observe the stars. It could also be a cult building, but it does not contain the tombs of the priests, which are present in other cult labyrinths. Esotericists consider the labyrinth a place of power, a “harmonizer of space”.
The Scythians used the stones of the labyrinth as building materials, so it has survived only partially. Also, its walls were destroyed by natural forces. Therefore, only the remains of the structure have survived now. At present, the labyrinth is mothballed: so that the locals do not take away the boulders, geologists have buried it.
10th place: Kindyakovsky stone
Kindyakovsky stone is a gray quartzite megalith located near the village of Kindyakovo, Moscow Region. It is also called “Jester's stone” – the megalith is located in the Jester forest. The stone is 1.3 meters long and 0.6 meters wide. Despite the fact that the area in the forest is swampy, the boulder does not go under water. Where the megalith lies, there is a “confluence of three waters” – the rivers Kimersha and Zolotukha and a stream.
This boulder has been known for many centuries. There are many legends about him. According to one of them, Shutov stone is one of nine fragments of the sacred Alatyr-stone, which has healing powers. There is also a legend that the stone sailed along the Kimersha River against the current – this explains its “unsinkability”. After the adoption of Christianity in Russia, the place began to be considered cursed – therefore the forest was nicknamed Shutov, that is, demonic.
Despite the fact that the megalith is located in a deep forest, the path to it does not overgrow. In order not to drown in the swampy soil on the way to the stone, the locals made a path of planks. The boulder is poured over with water, which is then collected in a container. People believe that this water, if you wash the patient with it, can heal his illness. A wooden idol was erected near the megalith; pagans, as well as simply travelers and local historians, come to it.
11th place: Tomb of Shepsi
In the village of Shepsi, Krasnodar Territory, on the banks of the river of the same name, a tomb was discovered in 2012. They found her in June, when there was a flood, and the tomb was flooded with water. It contained the remains of 20 people 5 thousand years old – they were not buried all at once, but at a certain interval. It also contained five ceramic vessels, a bronze knife, an arrowhead made of stone and other items.
The tomb was built from thin stone slabs. The walls at the top of the tomb are destroyed by water, therefore its original dimensions and exact shape are unknown. The tomb has a square entrance, the side of the square is 45 centimeters. The floor is paved with slabs. The tomb was covered with river sediments and overgrown with bushes, but in 2010 the place was washed out by the river water, after which the tomb was discovered.
The tomb belongs to the Novosvobodnenskaya culture. This culture was spread in the foothills of the Caucasus during the early Bronze Age, and the construction of megalithic tombs is one of the features of this culture. There are similar tombs created by this culture – the Psybe tomb, located in the bed of the same river, and two tombs in the Klada tract in Adygea.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.