Uushigiin Uver Deer Stones
The deer stone complex of Uushigiin uver is located in 18km west of Murun town, a central town of Khuvsgul province Mongolia. This is the place where a funeral practice and sacrificial ritual took place around Bronze Age. This unique site was listed in UNESCO in 2014. According to the criteria which defined these heritages as a masterpiece of human creative genius and bearing a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition. Alternatively it represented a civilization which is living or which has disappeared.
The reason why the stones called ‘deer stone’ is that people who created this kind of sites mostly depicted deer on the four sides in artistic ways. Deer is considered to be important animal to the ancient people for living on them, for worshiping them. Some explains that a deer is a spiritual animal, belongs to the ethereal world. So when someone dies a deer carries his soul to the ethereal world. When men had not reached the level of literate, deer stones become their way to express their own culture, mind and custom. In addition these became important findings for our archaeologists and historians to discover history of old time, such Bronze and Iron Ages.
Story of Deer Stones
There are 14 deer stones made out of a long block of granite with four sides. The deer stones are usually accompanied by khigisuur, which is a slab burial with massive rocks. This is explained that the people of that time usually create khirgisuur for a deceased one as a burial and erected a deer stone in the eastern part of the burial site. About 1241 deer stones were found in Mongolia. This means 80 percent of all deer stones that were found in the world. These deer stones were created in XIII-VI BC, which is related to late Bronze Age and early Iron Age.
According to historians and archaeologists, the deer stones were created for the honor of influential leaders, heroes and noblemen. It became important historical evidence to understand the people of that time, their religious and nomadic way of life. Its khirgisuur nearby is also described as not only burial or tomb but also sacrificial site where they sacrificed many horses as an offering.
Illustrations on Deer Stones
The deer image is the main decoration and usually engraved on middle part or ‘torso part’. Alongside with the deer depiction, facial features and head ornaments such as earrings and necklaces are engraved on the ‘face part’. On the lower part, they depicted images of weapons, belt and horse riders. The Uushgiin Uvur deer stone site is special. You can see many skillful works and different illustrations at one place. However you need to be keen to recognize some of them as they are plain. There are writings on every deer stone, explaining its illustrations. Therefore you can read the meaning with a help of your tour guide.
If you’re heading to see the Khuvsgul Lake in the north, you should see the Uushgiin Uvur deer stone complex. It is almost located on the way to the lake.