Deer stone in Uushigiin Uver, Mongolia.

© DavorLovincic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Uushigiin Uver

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On an arid plain about 20km west of Mörön, 14 deer stones have survived both howling winds and history, and now constitute one of the most enchanting Bronze Age archaeological sites in the country. Some of the stones have vibrant white designs etched against an ochre-coloured background. The most unique, stone 14, is topped with the head of a woman; there is only a handful of such deer stones in Mongolia. The carved stones are 2500 to 4000 years old.

The paint on stone 9 looks as if it has barely faded despite centuries of exposure to the Mongolian elements.

The area also contains sacrificial altars (keregsuur) , and the nearby mountain range contains about 1400 burial tombs.

The area is enclosed by a fence and small placards describe (some of) the stones. There is ostensibly a T3000 entrance fee, but no caretaker was on duty when we visited.

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