Stone Shamans and Flying Deer of Northern Mongolia: Deer Goddess of Siberia or Chimera of the Steppe?

William W. Fitzhugh

Abstract

Mongolia’s Bronze Age deer stones are one of the most striking expressions of early monumental art in Central Asia, yet their age, origins, relationships, and meaning remain obscure. Speculation about Scythian connections has stimulated recent research in Mongolia that has begun to peel away their mysteries and reveals connections to Scytho-Siberian and northern art. Radiocarbon-dated horse skulls indicate pre-Scythian ages of “classic Mongolian” deer stones as well as firm association with the Late Bronze Age khirigsuur [kurgan] burial mound complex.

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