Siberian Stonehenge

Siberian Stonehenge also known as Sunduki located on a remote flood plain on the bank of the Bely Iyus river in the republic of Khakassia is a series of eight sandstone outcrops. Professor Vitaly Larichev, a Russian scientist believes Siberian Stonehenge may be the first place that humanity began to follow the movements of the heavens. This 16,000-year-old site was not only a place of huge religious significance in the ancient world, but also its stargazing capital, yet it is older than the British standing stones, and arguably 'more mysterious'.

Sunduki comprises eight fantastical sandstone mounts rising incongruously from a flood plain on the bank of the Bely Iyus. Parallel to each other, almost equal in size, they are crowned with strange rock hats looking like giant boxes or chests.

The word 'Sunduk' in Russian means 'chest' or 'trunk' which explains how the place got its modern name.

 Siberian Stonehenge

3,500 years ago the first known sundials came into existence, found by archeologists in ancient Egypt. Yet the professor thinks these ancient Siberian astronomers, without any instruments, used giant rocks and chinks in the stone architecture in the landscape for their calculations and observations.

He claims to have found 'numerous ancient solar and lunar observatories around Sunduki'.

There is a gallery of rock art. Some dates back several centuries BC and so is relatively modern. High on one cliff wall is a rock engraving showing dragon heads in one direction, and snake heads in the other.

'If the sun were shining, we could tell the time,' said Professor Vitaly Larichev, of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 'In the morning the shadow moves along the snake's body from his head to his tail, and in the afternoon it comes from the other direction along the dragon.

'From the same observation point you can determine true north and south by sighting along the mountains'.

A mysterious white horse symbol found not far from the first 'chest' on Black Mountain was carved in the rock and is well preserved may have appeared 16,000 years ago, during the Ice Age, establishing this as a site of human activity over many millennia.

But the site has not yielded all its mysteries. There are also burial mounds and other man-made constructions - including irrigation channels - which have yet to be fully explored by archaeologists.


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