The Ural Mountain Range runs North to South through Western Russia and covers 1600 miles. It stretches along the northern border of Kazakhstan from the Kara Sea to the Kazakh Steppe. The range then continues into Vaygach Island and the Island of Novaya Zemlya. The highest peak is Mount Narondnaya and is approximately 6,217 feet in elevation.The Urals are a virtual treasure trove for the Russians providing iron, copper, gold, malachite, alexandrite as well as other gems. However, mineral resources are not the only thing found in this mountain range.
The other “treasure” in the Ural Mountains are numerous monolithic and megalithic structures. Thes structures include dolmens, menhirs and a large megalithic cultic complex on Vera Island. Although the structures are wide spread and take on many different forms, they have one thing (other than all being in the Ural’s) in common. No one know who constructed them or for what purpose.
Numerous Dolmens are found in the Middle of the Ural Range in the Sverdlovsk Oblast region. A dolmen is a type of single chambered megalithic tomb. Dolmens generally are constructed of two or more vertical stones supporting a flat horizontal stone on top. There are many variances in construction from simple to complex. The dolmens in the Urals are relatively small in comparison to other dolmens around the world, measuring 1.5 to 2.5 meters in width and length. There are two distinct styles to these dolmens. The stone plate dolmens are created with a mound of stones that have a chamber attached. Most have a square court in front and are sometimes surrounded by smaller stones. The boulder dolmens are constructed from large boulders that form a chamber which is covered by one or more flat stones. Altough the structure of the boulder dolmens do vary somewhat, they all have two entrance points, a main entrance to the side and a smaller entrance between boulders.
Menhirs are the most prevalent type of Megalith found in the Urals. A Menhir is a single vertical stone. These are found throught the Urals in two forms, singularly as a monolith or in groups. All of the menhirs that have been found to date are either near a settlement or cemetery from the Bronze Age (3300-600 BC). Some of the menhir groups that have been found are in rows while others like the one discovered at the village of Akhunovo in Bashkiria are circular.
Now we come to the most fascinating megaliths of the Urals. Those found on Vera Island in Lake Turgoyak. Dating to the Eneolithic period, the structures are referred to as Megalith Number 1, Megalith Number 2, Megalith Number 3, Vera Island 9 and Vera Island 4.
Megalith Number 1 is the largest of all the structures on Vera Island. It is cut into the bedrock and covered with capstones. The structure which stands 16 by 9 meters is speculated to have served as some type of temple at some point. The structure contains a long entrance, a central hall and two chambers with a connecting corridor. There are windows and sculptures of bulls and wolves inside.This structure is oriented to the West.
Megalith Number 2 was found carved into a rocky slope with a mound structure covering it. It contains two chambers connected by a corridor and is oriented to the North.
Megalith Number 3 was created by large boulders with a square pit cut into the center rock. It is closed off by vertical stone slabs with massive boulders as capstones.
Vera Island 9 is a cultic ritual place with two menhirs, while Vera Island number 4 is a cultic place surrounded by vertical stones with a small menhir in the center.
The megaliths of the Urals are impressive and mysterious. Strangely little to nothing is known about how they were created, who created them or for what purpose they were created.. They stretch throughout the range, which is a massive area suggesting they were not all built by the same group of people. While Megalith Number 1 on Vera Island seems to have been some sort of temple, many ot the other structures show no obvious signs of being used for any religious purpose at all.
Perhaps with further study we will gain some clue as to who built them and why. Until that day, they remain just another mystery of our ancient past.