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Archaeology & History

Mystery of Mongolia's 'reindeer stones' continues to endure

By T.K. Randall
December 24, 2022 · Comment icon 0 comments

Who built these stones and what purpose did they serve ? Image Credit: FAL Aloxe
Thousands of mysterious ancient stones depicting images of reindeer can be found dotted across the landscape.
Known as 'deer stones' or 'reindeer stones', these enigmatic megaliths can be found dotted across some of the most wild and remote regions of Mongolia and Siberia.

Measuring up to 4.5 meters in height, the stones vary in size and weight. Some of them have curiously rounded tops, which others have straight ones.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about them, however, is the fact that each of the stones is adorned with images depicting human faces, weapons, animals and more. By far the most common among these are images of reindeer - some of which are even depicted as flying through the air.

Exactly who created the stones and why continues to remain a long-running archaeological mystery.
It was once believed that the Scythians, who were present in the region from the 7th to the 3rd century BCE, were responsible, but carbon dating has since revealed that the stones were built before then.

As for their purpose - it has been speculated that they may have held some sort of ritualistic significance and may have even been burial monuments used during the funerals of celebrated warriors, though excavations have failed to turn up any remains giving credence to this idea.

Other experts, meanwhile, believe that they may have had something to do with reindeer herding.

As things stand, however, nobody knows for sure.

Source: IFL Science | Comments (0)

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