The Megaliths on Apsheron Peninsula
Ancient stone formations or megaliths (from Greeks megas - big and
lithos - a stone) are prehistoric monuments, which were made from huge
boulders. The megaliths can differ from each others by way of
construction, however in general they can be subdivided into dolmen,
menhirs and stone circles - cromlech (see below). These kinds of stone
formations can be met in many places but mainly on Caucasus, along the
coast of Black Sea, in Western Europe and Northern Africa. Recently
megalithic constructions were even discovered at the bottom of the
Atlantic Ocean, 40 kilometers from Bahamas.
Azerbaijan is one of the earliest areas where human beings are known to
have dwelled. On its territory, and in particular on the Apsheron
peninsula, some stone structures are disposed constructed by the ancient
inhabitants of these places. The dwelling and ritual samples of megaliths
architecture on Apsheron dated back to the Neolith Age and Ancient Bronze.
These megaliths are, for the most part, represented by stone circles
(cromlech) - almost round structures made of stone slabs. Ancient stone
monuments on the Apsheron Peninsula were discovered in several places - in
Mardakan (3000-2000 BC), in Zira (3000-2000 BC), in Turkan (the end of
2000 BC), in Shuvelan (2000 BC) and not far from Apsheron in Gobustan
Some megalithic archeological monuments lie unprotected, virtually unknown and unacknowledged not far from the Apsheron near the Gobustan. One of the stone constructions, which was obviously erected by human beings, belongs to a dolmen type. The huge stone plate is based upon a vertical block. The turned out construction is surrounded with huge stones. The internal wall of the construction is covered with figures made by the hand of an ancient person.
In general the given constructions have still been poorly studied. Much
research needs to be done to determine the purpose of these ancient
monuments. Prehistoric monuments of the Stone Age meet analogies in many
parts of the world. If the ancient inhabitants of the Apsheron peninsula
were involved in construction of the megalith structures then only future
research could reveal the relations between our stone formations and
megaliths in other parts of the world.
DOLMEN – a megalithic construction like a stone box with a large flat
plate laid on upright ones. The weight of the top stone plate could reach
tens of tons and the size is up to ten meters. Authentic purpose and a way
of erection are not known. These kinds of constructions are around Europe,
Asia and Northern Africa, on Caucasus and in Crimea.
Photos are courtesy of Abbas Islamov
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