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Russian archaeologists discover bull geoglyph in the Republic of Tuva


The joint excavations of the Tuva archaeological expedition of the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMC RAS) and Krasnoyarsk Geoarchaeology LLC working at the Khondergey 22 burial ground in the south-west of the Republic of Tuva, close to Russia’s border with Mongolia, revealed a ritual and memorial structure with a bull-shaped geoglyph under its embankment.


Russian archaeologists discover bull geoglyph in the Republic of Tuva
Credit: RAS



According to Natalia Lazarevskaya, researcher of the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences, "only the the backside of the bull with the hind legs and a tail was preserved, the front part was unwittingly destroyed in 1940s by road construction. The object belongs to the Early Bronze Age, which is confirmed by finds of pottery with a tubular pattern. Previously archaeologists have not found similar depictions in Tuva. Analogies to this depiction of a bull are found among the petroglyphs of Kalbak-Tash I in the Russian Altai".


Russian archaeologists discover bull geoglyph in the Republic of Tuva
Credit: RAS



Russian archaeologists discover bull geoglyph in the Republic of Tuva
Credit: RAS

Marina Kilunovskaya, head of the Tuva archaeological expedition, senior researcher at the Department of Archaeology of Central Asia and the Caucasus of the IMC RAS, PhD in History, said: "The bull motif itself is very characteristic of the cultures of Central Asia in the Early Bronze Age. Later, in the Scythian period, the bulls were replaced by deer. We encounter bulls in groups of petroglyphs on the territory of Tuva and the adjacent territories, but the geoglyph in the form of the animal figure is as yet a unique phenomenon, perhaps, even for the entire Central Asian region. And, although the motif itself is recognizable and allows us to reconstruct with a high degree of certainty the lost part, we have not seen similar stone markings before. In our opinion, the uniqueness of the find and the threat to its preservation due to the nearby road warrant its place in a museum. We are currently working with colleagues in Tuva to make this possible."


Source: Russian Academy of Sciences [November 01, 2021]



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