Talk abstract details

Prime archaeological researches near mountain Monastyri on the Western Altai
N. Dmitrieva, L. Marsadolov


At the foot of mountain Monastyri, 50 km southward of city Ust-Kamenogorsk on the Western Altai, at the same latitude as sanctuary Ak-Baur, one more interesting complex of ancient objects has been examined in 2006-2007 years, which is composed of a grotto and a ground with holes.
The small grotto is found among low rocky exits consisted of granite slabs. Firstly bending down, you can enter it and you can become straight inside. Ceiling and walls of the grotto are dome-shaped. Floor inside the grotto is rather flat, earthy. Almost vertical wall situated opposite to the entrance has smooth surface. On this wall barely visible anthropomorphic and geometric drawings are found, which are implemented by red ocher. There are human figurines with joined hands in the centre of this composition. These figurines are depicted schematic – head is slightly marked out, neck and trunk are pictured identically, hands are dropped down, legs are stood apart. Probably, a part of ritual life for people of 2-nd half II millennium B.C. is depicted on the picture.
Not far from the grotto a ground of big rock slabs, lying horizontally, almost at the same level as up-to-date soil. Three holes with diameter 10, 8 and 5 cm are on these slabs. One of them is in the centre of the ground, another – at the edge of western part, the 3-rd one – northward. Distance between them is 405, 360 and 270 cm (correspondently, 9, 8 and 6 cubits by 45 cm). In the day of autumnal equinox, 2006 year, an observation of sunset from the centre of the ground was examined. Direction toward point of sunset lies along line, which unites holes with diameter 10 and 8 cm. Results of these investigations allows to suggest that it was not just a place of ceremonies, but also an astronomic observatory.
Sharp-pointed mountain Zhangistas is located 1 km westward of the ground with holes. Observing sunset in the day of autumnal equinox, keen similarity between exterior view of mountain Sorokina in Ak-Baur and mountain Zhangistas, including sites on flank of hills, where sun sets, was noticed. If you take a look to silhouette of mountain Zhangistas, then you’ll see “zoomorphic-formed” jut at the bottom of right flank. It resembles a “head with opened jaw and tongue” in profile, which has more effect while looking close. Holes of artificial origin were found at the bottom area of the ground in the “jaw”.
One more ground is situated in the northern part of the sanctuary, centre of which is marked by deep hole. Observing this hole in the days of equinox, you can watch the Sun “sitting down to the jaw” on mountain Zhangistas. In future it would be necessary to extend observations in days of equinoxes and solstices, and also in other days of year.
Outlier Ushtas is located 3.5 km eastward of the ground with holes. From a distance it looks like the “sphinx”. Rocky slabs situated on it’s vertex nearby become similar to “opened jaw with tongue”. Small stone outlier with cut-out holes at the bottom area was found on the flank of mountain Ushtas. Probably, and this object could be used for astronomical observations or for ritual ceremonies.
“Zoomorphic” singularity for mountain outliers of complex Monastyri in whole and its separate rocky juts was comprehended in antiquity, evidence of which is the presence of artificial holes near them.