Mongolian dating culture
Ulaan Tolgoi Deer Stone 4 shows the iconic transformation image of a leaping or flying stag with scrolling antlers but with the head of a long-billed bird.Excavations around it revealed sacrificial horse head burials. Today the project is working with colleagues in Ulaanbaatar to compile this research and documentation into a new catalogue of Mongolian cultural heritage, connecting documentation from archaeological sites, ethnobotanical field reports, digital images of the stones—including hundreds of 3D digital scans—and site surveys into a new virtual database of georeferenced cultural heritage.The seat of many ancient states established on the territory of Mongolia, the Orkhon Valley Complex was recognized by UNESCO World Heritage as a cultural landscape in 2004.Old Turkish Orkhon inscriptions from the 8 century Uighur capital of Khar Balgas, Tuvkhun Monastery established by the great Mongolian sculptor and politician Zanabazar in 1648, and the present Erdene Zuu Monastery are some of the highlights of a visit.The digitalization work, on archives dating from the ruling period of Emperor Kangxi to the year 1948, concerns religion, politics, law and economy.It is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Running deer and graphic motifs are etched into the stones, which may rise up to twelve feet in height.Telling the stories of ancient herding peoples and nomadic warriors, these “deer stones” represent the tangible cultural heritage of early Mongolians.
Traveling with a team of Tsaatan guides, she has explored thousands of square kilometers of Sayan Mountain taiga and Darkhad Valley pastures on horseback.
Led by Smithsonian anthropologist and director of the Arctic Studies Program at the National Museum of Natural History William Fitzhugh, the Deer Stone Project is studying these megaliths to learn more about how peoples of the past spread across Central Asia, Siberia, and the Arctic, and how climate change is threatening Mongolian cultural heritage today. Excavations at this deer stone site produced charcoal and teeth from sacrificed horse dating to 1000 B. Harnessing Smithsonian expertise from diverse fields—from archaeology to lichenology—the project team is working locally to capture this cultural heritage from many perspectives using a range of technologies.
the burial mounds often located next to deer stones, at dozens of dig sites across the Mongolian steppe.
Nearly every well-versed traveler knows it would be impossible to condense a country into ten definitive bucket list items that fully encompass the vibrancy of the destination.
Some sights, though, have the ability to present a rare snapshot of the intangible nature of a country’s presence—be it cultural traditions that take place there, the natural and human formations of its diverse terrain, or the endangered wildlife and varied species residing in its locality.