25,000-Year-Old Buildings Found in Russia

25,000-Year-Old Buildings Found in Russia


In the Caucasus mountains of Russia, not far from the cities Tzelentzchik, Touapse, Novorossiysk and Sochi, there are hundreds of megalithic monuments known as 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Map of Dolmens in Western Caucasus.

Map of Dolmens in Western Caucasus. (c)

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.

Some unusual items associated with dolmens are big round stone balls, double balls and animal sculptures.

The article ‘ 25,000-Year-Old Buildings Found in Russia’ was originally published on Humans Are Free and has been republished with permission.

Translated from Greek and Russian by  invisiblelycans 


Principle Investigator: Dr.Viktor Trifonov, Institute for Study of Material Culture History, Russian Academy of Sciences, St.Petersburg

Location of Project: Russia, Gelendjik, Krasnadar area, Black Sea coast

Images from  thelivingmoon website

Markovin, V.I.,  Western Caucasian Dolmens

Megre, V., 1995.  Ringing Cedars Series

Trifonov, V., 2006. Russia’s megaliths: unearthing the lost prehistoric tombs of Caucasian warlords in the Zhane valley. St.Petersburg:  The Institute for Study of Material Culture History, Russian Academy of Sciences

Kudin, M., 2001. Dolmeni i ritual. Dolmen Path - Russian Megaliths

Reading (in English, Dutch, German, Russian, Swedish):

J.-P. Mohen, 1993.  The World of Megaliths

R. Joussaume, 1988.  Dolmens for the Dead

K.Wilson, 2001. Op expeditie in de Kaukasus //Archeobrief, #17 (winter 2001) // Stichting voor de Nederlandse Archeologie

V.I. Markovin, 1993. Der Kurgan Psynako I, Rayon Tuapse im Krasnodar Land (Westkaukasus) // Zeitschrift fur Archaologie. Heft.27

V. Trifonov, 2001. What do we know about Caucasian dolmens for sure? // Caucasian Dolmens and Ancient Civilizations (IV – I mill. BC). Krasnodar

S. Hansen, 1996. Megalitgravene i Kaukasus: er de udlobere af de vesteuropaeiske? // Popular Arkeologi, argang 14, #4 Bronze Age to New Age // Archaeology, May/June 1999


I thought of them being homes as well. They could have kept them warm with furs of the animals they hunted. Even my 9yo son says they are 'caveman' houses.

Possibly with furs and such? The eskimos have used colder material. Also the stone heats up during day even when its cold then radiates the heat at night. Could be possible?

i wonder why the holes in them and if it was so cold as ice, how and why would they use such cold materials as stone?
i have heard alot more stories of pyramids than of these structures in russia but it goes to show me that people have been very busy for longer than i can imagine. and so darn attached to the earth and yet everybody only sticks around for a century or so. people sure are peculiar creatures!

I know this will sound utterly whacky to some, but I occurs to be that these Dolmens, and some of ours, as well as several alleged tombs, may not be tombs as such at all, but the homes of the inhabitants, built very solidly to survive the crushing pressures of snow and ice in the colder times we poor humans have had to live through. Whilst it may seem far fetched, the very fact that human remains are often found in such places along with household goods, cooking utensils etcetera indicates HABITATION.

Yes, and in the same way the vast highly decorated underground palaces built in Egypt for Pharoahs and sometimes members of staff, and indeed the Pyramids themselves are not tombs, not primarily, but peoples homes. IF you live in an utter desrt you need substantial sahelter from wind and sun to have a comfortable standard of living AT ALL. Or its nomadic life and tents, period. We cannot date stone, we have really no way to prove such places were not peoples actual homes. After all, IF you are royalty etc. you aren't going to live on the hot dusty surface in conditions so bad the Hebrew slaves wanted to leave the country, are you.

Yes, it may very well be true that after their deaths these people's bodies were left with their possesions inside the Dolmen's , but it is equally likely that the pharoahs Lived in their underground palaces, and then when the last of the line died out, or whatever, it was decided to mummify and entomb their bodies therein.

Any ideas?

Good article. The timeline is put forth in generally the same as your question. My first thoughts were of the dolmens in Ireland, some in Portugal. They're too small to be dwellings, or 'plasma shelters' in one Commentor's far out proposition. In Ireland, most are without the sides-as such. They have four 'posts' & a roof; 'generally'. Speculation is that earth was used to facilitate construction, then removed for the intended burial. It'd be interesting to see some group take on a replicating project for any dolmen examples. The Russian types may be an original for their area, who knows? They 'wonder' at the 'plugs' used to seal the dolmen, but since they most likely were grave monuments, I don't see the 'wonder', I see the utility; ' makes sense ' ! Take care & have fun looking further, I know I will! Mike


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