Dolmen de Dombate is arguably the one of the most valuable megaliths located in Spain. Not only due to the relative good conservation of the monument, but also for several peculiarities that make it unique. The monument is actually two Tombs constructed in two different time frames, one over the other. The dolmen (dated 3900 BC) is composed of a 24m diameter, 1,8m high barrow which does not seem to have totally covered the actual chamber. The later is a poligonal chamber composed of seven orthostats (the bigger one at the back of the monument is 4,7x3m) covered by a massive capstone. This chamber was accessed by a three segment - 4m long - corridor made of six orthostats of decreasing heights. The corridor, covered by a capstone and probably by the barrow, is oriented to the East.
Inside the megalith, several petroglyphs have been found, but what makes this Dolmen unique in Spain is the discovery of several paintings in both the chamber and the access corridor. These pictures are Zig-Zag motives in reddish colour with black dots over a whitish base. Objects encountered inside the tomb reveal different periods of usage, and range from early neolithic silex blades to pre-beaker pottery. All in all the Dolmen was used from its creation (3900 BC) to 2700BC when a final lith was installed blocking all access.Other objects dating from 2700BC to contemporary times have been found since the first re-opening of the megalith by Beaker Culture gravediggers.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.