The Lancken-Granitz dolmens are a group of seven megalith tombs in the Lancken-Granitz municipality on Rügen. Erected during the middle Neolithic, when they were used by the Funnelbeaker culture, at least some were in use until the early Bronze Age. Three of them are encircled by solitary rocks forming either rectangles or a stone circle, one has a solitary 'guardian stone' on its eastern side.
The dolmens were constructed from glacial erratic boulders and red sandstone. In part subdivided into up to four compartments as common for the region, one dolmen showed a subdivision into six such compartments, which is an unusually high number. When the tombs were archaeologically assessed in 1969, Stone and Bronze Age funerary goods were retrieved, including flint hatches, stone axes, amber pearls, bronze needles and necklaces as well as an abundance of arrowheads and pottery.
The dolmens are part of a series built between 3,500 and 3,200 BC, during the Neolithic. As of 2001, about 400 of those are preserved in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 55 of which are located on the isle of Rügen. Initially their number had been much larger, but many were destroyed when their boulders were used for church, housing and street construction since the Middle Ages. In the 20th century, local teacher Friedrich-Wilhelm Furthmann and his wife preserved the dolmens in the Lancken-Granitz and Burtevitz area, before they were excavated by archaeologist Ewald Schuldt in 1969 and immediately thereafter restored for touristic use. This was part of a series of 106 excavations conducted by Schuldt's team on megalith sites in present-day Mecklenburg-Vorpommern between 1964 and 1972.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.