Volkonsky dolmen

The Volkonsky dolmen is the only full-size monolithic dolmen in the world that has been preserved.

volkonsky dolmen

The Volkonsky dolmen (or Volkonka dolmen, Russian Волконский дольмен) is the only full-size monolithic dolmen in the world that has been preserved. This means that the chamber is completely carved into the sandstone rock through a small entrance hole.

The Volkonsky dolmen is located at the bottom of a river valley in the village of Volkonka, in Russia’s Greater Sochi region. It is a popular tourist attraction and is protected by the state.

Postal stamp Volkonsky dolmen
Russian postal stamp with the Volkonsky dolmen

This monolithic monument is carved from a single rock, and it dates back to the third to second millennium BCE. Carved into a shapeless rock mass by sampling the softer inner component of the monolith. The facade is designed in the form of a tiled dolmen portal. The inlet is practically intact. The inner chamber has a domed (semicircular) shape about 1.5 meters high with a flat floor. The walls of the room have not been sanded, the room may not be finished. The floor has a depression at the entrance, which may have been beaten by treasure hunters. The entrance, almost circular and well-preserved, is close to the ground, possibly to facilitate drainage. Unfortunately, the stone that covered it has not survived. At the back, the dolmen has one semicircular opening and is therefore also a ritual cup stone.

Additionally, near the dolmen, there is a spring of mineral water. The Volkonsky dolmen faces challenges due to the large amount of tourists and esoteric and sectarian groups visiting the site, which sometimes leads to acts of vandalism and rock erosion.

  • References

    image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Volkonsky_dolmen_(winter_games).jpg

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