Many mysteries are stored by our planet, and sometimes it seems to us that we will never know the clues. This can be said about the most mysterious and unexplained constructions in the world - dolmens.
The dolmens received their name from the words "taol mean", which means "stone table". These structures of ancient epochs refer to megaliths, constructions from large stones. They have the same structure, and the number of them around the world exceeds thousands. They were found in Spain, Portugal, North Africa, Australia , Israel, Russia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan and India. The largest number of dolmens was found in South Korea .
Assumptions and versions
Nobody will say exactly what the dolmens were built for. According to the assumptions of scientists and researchers, the dolmens of Korea in the Bronze Age were used as ritual stones, where sacrifices were performed and the spirits were worshiped. Under many stones, the remains of people were found. This suggests that these are gravestones of noble people or tribal chiefs. In addition, under the dolmens were found gold and bronze ornaments, pottery and various items.
Studies of dolmens
Excavations in Korea began in 1965 and for many decades the research did not stop. In this country there are 50% of the dolmens of the whole world, in 2000 they were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Most of the megaliths are located in Hwaseong, Cochkhan and Ganghwad . After the research, scientists argue that the dolmens of Korea date back to the 7th century. BC. and are closely related to the bronze and Neolithic cultures of Korea in antiquity.
The most interesting dolmens of South Korea
All megalithic structures are divided into 2 types: northern and southern. The northern type is 4 stones, forming walls, on top of which there is a stone slab, serving as a roof. The southern type of dolmen is underground, like a grave, and above it is a stone that represents the lid.
The most popular megaliths in Korea are:
- Dolmens in the town of Hwaseong are located along the slopes along the Chisokkan River and date back to the VI-V centuries BC. e. They are divided into 2 groups: Khosan-li consists of 158 megaliths, in Tasin-li from 129. Dolma in Hwaone is better preserved than in Kochan.
- The dolmens in Cochkhan are the most diverse and large group of structures, the main part of which is in the village of Masan. A total of 442 dolmens were found here, they date back to the 7th c. BC. e. The stones are laid out in strict order at the foot of the hills from east to west, they are located at an altitude of 15-50 m. All structures have a weight of 10 to 300 tons and a length of 1 to 5 m.
- The dolmens of the island of Ganghwado are located on the slopes of the mountains and are much higher than the other groups. Scientists believe that these stones are the oldest, but the exact date of their construction has not yet been established. On Kanhwado there is the most famous dolmen of the northern type, its cover has a size of 2.6 x 7.1 x 5.5 m, and it is the largest in South Korea.
Features of visit
The dolmens of South Korea in Hwaseong and Ganghwad can be inspected for free. Gochang Dolmen Museum works in Gochang, the entrance is $ 2.62 and the opening hours are from 9:00 to 17:00. Here tickets for a train traveling around dolmens are sold. So, having made a railway tour, you will see all the giant stone structures, the cost of the trip is $ 0.87.
How to get there?
The dolmens are located in different parts of South Korea, but it will not be difficult to get there:
- Dolmens of the island of Ganghwad. It is more convenient to get from Seoul . Sinchon metro station , exit # 4, then transfer to bus number 3000, which goes to Ganghwado bus station. Then you are waiting for a transfer to any of the buses №№01,02,23,24,25,26,27,30,32 or 35 and get off at the Dolmen stop. The whole way from the metro is 30 minutes.
- The dolmens of Cochkhan. You can get from Koh Chang city by buses from Seonunsa Temple or Jungnim, get off at the stop or Dolmen Museum.
- Hwaseon dolmens. You can get only directly from the city of Hwaseong or from Gwangju .