KBSU Unveils Comprehensive Digital Encyclopedia of Caucasian Dolmens

The first time a dolmen has been replicated on a full scale using digital technology.

The first time a dolmen has been replicated on a full scale using digital technology.

NALCHIK — Specialists at Kabardino-Balkarian State University (KBSU) have launched a project to create Russia's first digital encyclopedia of dolmens, featuring a full-scale digital replica of a Caucasian dolmen. Albert Saralp, director of "Hermitage-Caucasus", shared this development with TASS, highlighting the use of digital technology to preserve these ancient structures in their original locations for scientific, educational, and tourist purposes.

The digital encyclopædia documents intact or partially preserved dolmens, affirming their cultural heritage status and monitoring their condition. Saralp mentioned the project's goal to produce three full-scale polymer replicas, with the first already unveiled. The plan includes digitizing numerous dolmens in southern Russia, each unique in architecture and technique, aiming to cover at least 100 dolmens.

Under the 'Priority-2030' federal program, this initiative is part of KBSU's strategic project 'Hermitage-Caucasus', aimed at creating a cultural and scientific platform to enhance the accessibility of the North Caucasus's cultural heritage. Yuri Altudov, the acting rector, noted the collaboration with regional scientists and the project's expected completion by 2025, guided by the State Hermitage.

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Altudov expressed satisfaction, stating, 'It is immensely encouraging to receive support from colleagues in other regions. In collaboration with the KBSU team, as well as scientists from universities and research centres across southern Russia, Abkhazia, Moscow, and St. Petersburg, we are all set to contribute to this project. We anticipate its completion by the end of 2025, with scientists from the State Hermitage providing expert scientific guidance.

Islam Makoev from the Centre for Archaeology highlighted the critical role of 3D scanning technology in creating these replicas. The detailed replica-making process, involving various polymer materials, aims at replicating more dolmens and including them in a comprehensive digital map. This map, enriched with photos and videos, will capture the essence of dolmen culture. With around 2,000 dolmens in the North Caucasus, the project aims to map the region's dolmens comprehensively.




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