Several khirigsuurs, slab graves, and other stone structures were excavated during rescue excavations in the Middle Orkhon Valley in 2006 and 2007. The information from these excavations provides the most extensive data—including the first large series of radiocarbon dates—on the Bronze Age and Early Iron Ages from central Mongolia. Contrary to what some have asserted, it becomes clear that khirigsuurs always served as graves for one individual also in this part of the country. Our discussion of slab graves highlights the particular custom of animal scapula depositions in specific graves as well as the removal of the head/skull, both, in our view, ritual practices. The investigation of three structures along the Khöshöö Tsaĭdam road revealed a much greater diversity of monument types in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages than had previously been recorded and illustrates the growing complexity of those periods beyond the traditional narratives centering around the monument types of khirigsuurs, slab graves, and deer stones.
Asian Archaeology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 4, 2018