MYSTERIOUS PLACES - The Caucasus region is home to mysterious, ancient cultures. The ancient Greeks considered the region to be a cradle of knowledge: Prometheus was chained to a mountain there after stealing the knowledge of fire from the gods. Medea, the daughter of the legendary king Aetes of Colchis (now the Republic of Georgia), was said to have special knowledge of medicine.
Much of the ancient history of the Caucasus region remains a mystery, simply because relatively little field research has been done. One of the most fascinating phenomena of its ancient history are the megalithic or cyclopic structures that are found all over the region.
These Caucasus sites have many similarities with other, better-known megalithic structures around the world such as the ones at Stonehenge, Malta, Tiahuanaco or Baalbek. But in the Caucasus region, archaeologists have been unable to do much research at the sites. They are in remote locations and are hard to access and work at.
Some examples are found in the republic of Georgia. One site is in the Kldekari historical reserve (Tsalka district), which is in a historical province known for the ancient Trialeti culture. On the slopes of the Trialeti mountain range, at an altitude of 1600 metres, cyclopean castles and menhirs dating back to the 2nd and 1st millennium BC extend for tens of kilometres. On and in barrows, there are features like a procession pavement, tunnel systems, gates, towers and fortifications or houses. Near the village of Tejisi there is a 5 metres high menhir, incorporated into a medieval church complex, that is ideally shaped with a flat front and rounded back, and seems be emitting some sort of radiation.
Near Lake Paravani, in the region of Akhalkalaki, there is a megalithic fortress at an altitude of 2752 metres. There is another site called Gochnaris Lodovani (“great rocks of Gochnari”) near the town of Manglisi, in the Algeti river valley. Yet another megalithic fortress is located at an altitude of 2800 metres in the Eastern Georgian province of Kakheti, near the village of Patara Abuli.
These cyclopic structures are built with huge basalt blocks, some of them 4 metres long. No mortar was used, the blocks are simply piled up in exactly straight lines. The barrow-like hills are hard to climb, since they consist of huge stones piled together. The gates seem too big for humans, and walls are estimated to have been up to 10 metres high.
It is unclear why people from the Bronze Age, with only simple and weak tools, would build such complex fortresses in such inaccessible places. And with what techniques could they have achieved it?
The extensive buildings suggest that the place was buzzing with life at some point in time. Yet there is a remarkable lack of findings of human habitation, be it remains of settlements, graves, struggle or destruction. In fact, there is nothing. For that reason, archaeologists have not put in a lot of effort so far. At the same time this lack of archaeological material only adds to the mystery of these megalithic sites.
Like in similar places around the world, the people living there today cannot provide any serious information about the civilizations that lived there before them. Folk legends usually refer to gods or giants of the distant past. How were these huge structures built? Did people use bulls to pull the stones along? Did Cyclopes carry the stones on their backs? Or did these ancient civilizations possess some kind of alien technology? It is as if worldwide the builders of the megalithic structures disappeared from the face of the earth.