Deer Stone

Deer stone monuments encountered on the territory of Mongolia were first reported by Russian scholars. One of the principal monuments used to study the customs, origin, history and culture of the Bronze Age societies is a deer stone monument. Bronze Age people had a tradition of holding a worshiping ceremony followed by an erection of a deer stone and creation of burial mounds called khirigsuur when their fellow tribesmen or influential figures in their society passed away. To enshrine eternal memory of nobles, the artists of those days selected granite slabs of various colors, each of them on average 2-3 meters high, 60-80 centimeters wide, and 20-30 centimeters thick, and evenly polished all of their four sides as well as their upper and lower ends. In the uppermost section of the stone, the artists carved two circular objects, big (the sun) and small (the moon), below which there was a row of small pecks engraved by pressing a thumb against the stone surface. On all four sides of the main section, there are depictions of deer with images of bows, arrows, and shields appearing in-between. From the border of the section below one can see two parallel lines (known as belts) encircling the stone and interlinked with carvings of triangular and quadrangle images as well as waves and other ornamental motifs. A dagger, sword, bow, arrows, arrow-case, whetstone, and hook are shown suspended from the belt. In archeological literature, these oblong, standing stones are referred to as deer stone monuments.
Deer stone monuments were set up at khirigsuur, which is a burial mound, surrounded by a square or circular stone-built fence, huge in circumference. Inside the fence, there are stone structures of various shapes, and a centrally located pile of stones. The sizes of these circular and square khirigsuur are on average10-20 meters in length/diameter, but some can be as large as 50 meters.

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