Tie the sun with a stone chain…”

“Tie the sun with a stone chain…”

Crimean megalithic structures is a promising tourist attraction

Previous publication told about the Crimean dolmens – the so-called Taurian cists. Not less interesting excursion sites are and menhirs – the vertically set stone blocks processed.

In Crimea there are very few of menhirs, located in situ, i.e. where they were installed in ancient times. Widely known Skelsky menhirs in the center of the village rodnikovskoe (formerly skelya) near Sevastopol. However, in the literature I have not found out whether in this place or initially delivered from other places.

So with a high degree of certainty that today the only thing in Crimea a menhir, which is where it’s supposed to be, is a 4-metre handsome man, hidden away from prying eyes in one of the deep beams near Bakhchisarai. By the way, it should be noted that this remarkable monument, unfortunately, is not entered neither in the scientific nor in the register of protected archaeological monuments!

Bakhchisaray menhir is rough-hewn block of stone roughly rectangular. The assumption that this is just a breakaway fragment of a rock, is not convincing: firstly, the closest rock massif is a few hundred meters, and secondly, it is solid and no signs of that in the foreseeable future from him are going to break away some pieces. In the end, even if and to assume that this fragment of the once broke off and slid down the slope, according to the laws of gravity, he had to swim to land, and not to show off on the slope of the beam in a strictly vertical position.

Menhir is extremely appealing in its loneliness and mystery. But the extra charm to this riddle gives another, quite unique circumstance.

Here it should be noted that the menhirs are a fertile subject for the imagination, including research. For example, there is a wide spread assumption that these multi-ton structures were built with some ancient cult. The thought of the temple where they offered ritual sacrifices (and these were exclusively of an innocent girl!) of course, interesting, but unfounded. Another, no less popular a topic is associated with a phallic cult. It also causes a lot of positive emotions, but not answering a simple question: what devilry is needed for people whose life passed in a desperate struggle for existence.

Very attractive is the view that menhirs are ancient observatories. Indeed, Stonehenge became a place of pilgrimage for tourists after it turned out that in the time of the summer solstice the main axis of the entire structure indicates North-East, exactly in the longest day of the year the Sun rises.

This stunner can be seen in the Crimea.

On the opposite side of the beam, where there is the menhir of Bakhchisarai, open outputs, monolithic rocks. If you climb higher, it becomes fully visible carved into the rocky monolith through hole of a rectangular shape, with a height of about half and about one meter wide. It is punched in the wall rocks representing a part of a small grotto, blackened by the smoke of numerous fires. It is obvious that at all times it was used as a temporary shelter shepherds herding cattle on the slopes of the beams. In favor of this assumption is the fact that in the middle ages the cave was further developed: externally open side was “sewn” planks, grooves which are well preserved in the floor and flow to the grotto.

The hole in the wall, it would seem that there neither here nor there. However, the meaning of this incredibly hard work is somewhat clear, if you get a compass. He convincingly shows that the menhir on the Western slope of the beam and the hole in the rock on the Eastern slope are exactly on the line East-West. In other words, at some certain day the Sun rising from the horizon, punched a hole with the beam and thrown on the menhir.

It turned out the way it is.

Says chief designer of the Crimean astrophysical Observatory Alexander Lagutin:

“The menhir and “window” are huge parts of optical instrument. They fix a certain optical axis in the direction East-West, which may be the rising sun only on certain days. Believing in your own version, I spent many years of observation, meeting the sunrise at the menhir. Started, naturally with the days of the equinox, is most favorable in the sense of precision “”tool’, when the point of sunrise moves faster just over the horizon. Not always spending the night at the menhir gave a result, were often morning fog or clouds, but on a good day the sight was spectacular: on a black background, the distant cliffs glowed the brightest point with the dazzling rays. Fixed were the days, slightly offset from the equinoxes to the side of summer”.

More details of the story A. F. Lagutin can be found on in the same place is a unique picture, which I reproduce with kind permission of the author prior Terebizh.

Spectacle needless to say, fascinating, but not step brings us nearer to the answer to the question: for what purpose was it built huge and even in these times of expensive construction?

In the literature there is a fundamental assumption that observations of the Sun were necessary to accurately determine the timing of agricultural activities or any other activities related to the calendar.

Well, with regard to agriculture, any villager will explain that the start of sowing or harvesting potatoes is not tied to exact dates. Much more important to know the state of the weather, the soil, and these factors in relation to calendar dates may vary not less than a week.

In principle, one can imagine that on the day of summer solstice coincided with some festival, but I highly doubt that the community worked power to determine the exact moment of the beginning of the festivities.


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