Sergey's Museum

The small town of Arkhipo-Osipovka lies in a cute little bay where the Vulan river meets the Black Sea. On both sides of the bay, east and west, the black Sea's waves break on high cliffs. the hills to the west host, (according to my map), a few dolmen sites.

My first attempt to reach those sites was a complete failure. Standing at the beginning of the path going west out of the bay, the muddy soil, cold temperatures and rain almost made me rethink my entire expedition all together. I gave up.

A few sunny days later I was back on that path, making it fast to the first dolmen, (red pin closest to town on the map). There isn't one there. In stead, there is a house, a guy named Sergey has been living there for the past 18 years. Away from the town and from any kind of infrastructure, Sergey uses solar panels for electricity and burning wood for heat. he also maintains a small museum in his house, displaying artifacts from all kinds of periods, all kind of places.

Among the more interesting artifacts, you can find a bear's skull, many knifes and arrows, many pieces of jewelry, a fossilized bird and a fossilized  human Spinal vertebrae. It took some time for Sergey to explain to me that last one, using pantomime, in Russian dialect and Google translate. When I got it, I'm pretty sure my face said - "what to you mean human?". The fossilized  human Spinal vertebrae was massive. "yes" sergey replied, "according to my calculation it is a 7 meter high human". He didn't even blink. He also told me how to find the one dolmen that is there, (the blue pin on the map), the description goes something like this - "go west for a bit, cross the 2 streams then turn north, climb a little and you will find a small pile of dirt. This is where you start climbing. as you climb look for a tree root which has 7 trunks going out of it, there, look to your right, you will see a massive tree with it's root climbing on it, take 45 degrees from there for another 100 meters and you arrive at the dolmen." I did find it. 

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Texts and photography by Amir Added

Artist illustrations by Doan Trang and winterpwner