The Stone Grave is a separated sand massif, which survived the destruction of the Sarmatian Sea shoal. The most powerful energy center is in the valley of the Molochnaya River in the Zaporozhye region of Ukraine. This place was used by ancient people as a sanctuary and contains rare petroglyphs.
It is a cluster of large stones on an area of more than 3000 square meters. meters and a height of up to 12 meters. Pile of stones in its form is like a mound, which explains its name. The stone grave was originally, most likely, a sandstone shoal of the ancient Sarmatian Sea. This is the only sandstone outlet across the Azov-Black Sea basin, in fact – a unique geological formation.
Now the Stone Grave is a sand hill covered with huge blocks. Between these stones formed a large number of natural voids – grottoes, aisles, caves. In the photo you can see only a part of the top.
The stone tomb contains more than six dozen grottoes and caves, where thousands of petroglyphs – drawings and symbols – are relatively well preserved. The exact number of grottoes is hard to know, zones with hieroglyphics can be much larger. Despite the research conducted since the thirties of the 20th century, most of the caves remain covered with sand. At the present state of the monument, the extraction of sand is likely to result in subsequent sandstone blockages.
The first stone tomb was mentioned by NI Veselovsky. He excavated near this meta in 1889. Excavating one of the mounds, the archaeologist went to the village of Terpenie to check out some rumors that were circulating. On the spot, he discovered a large stone mound and put forward the idea that this is an artificial structure. In 1890, he explored a couple of caves, but did not find any treasure or burial, was upset and completed excavations, leaving a brief note on the Stone Grave. In 1936 this territory was finally brought into the area of interests of the Azov-Black Sea expedition of the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, and in 1938 it was already the key place of this expedition. The famous Soviet archaeologist O. Bader led the research. Archaeologists have opened more than 30 new places that store images.
Since the forties, architects and historians have not stopped discussing the time of imaging on stones. Supporters of extremely opposite points of view VN Danilenko and M. Ya. Rudinsky died, each remaining in his theory. Their key monographs with identical headings “Kam’yan grave” were published only posthumously. In 1994, the orientalist AG Kifishin, who put forward his theory of petroglyphs, as a trail of Proto-Sumerian writing, researched the Stone Grave. This controversial opinion, whose validity still doubts, caused heated debate in the popular press and attracted close attention to the monument.
No human settlements were found in the Stone Grave itself, or near it, which could be connected with the monument. On this basis, historians come to the conclusion that the territory was used only for religious purposes, as a sanctuary. In addition, almost all the images of the Stone Grave are painted on the internal surfaces of stones, and they can be seen only from within the grottoes, which indicates their probable sacrality. Even now, annually, during the summer solstice, isoterics come here from all over the former Soviet Union and even from abroad, because the place has quite a strong energy
Despite the fact that many such monuments for the purpose of preservation are sheltered by special protective structures (for example, Chatal-Hyuk in Turkey), the Stone Grave is, as before, in the open air. Virtually no work is carried out to preserve it. Along with this, many archaeologists during the 20th century pointed to the gradual erosion of petroglyphs. The study of most of the plates is now based on photographs, sketches and plaster casts made in the forties and fifties. Now those characters are gone.
The geological rarity of formations of this type, such as the Stone Grave, caused the spread of the idea of the artificial origin of the monument. There are several legends about the origin of this place in the people. One of them tells about the quarrel of two heroes who threw stones at each other, has a Slavic origin. The other is written down from the Nogai:
“Boghar was once guilty before Allah, and he punished the hero: he ordered the stones to be torn from the nearby mountain ridge and built from them on the bank of Molochnaya such a hill, from which the steppe could be seen in all directions. huge stones, he carried them on himself and stacked on each other in the place indicated by Allah, for the speedy execution of the work he decided to cheat: he loosely stacked the stones. “When more than half had been completed, Bogur, lifting the block, stumbled and fell into the mind He left the gap between the stones, stuck there and died of starvation.This punishment inflicted on him for trying to deceive Allah.Allah later ordered the wind to fill with sand all the cracks between the stones and hide the body of Bogart Bogatyr, whose bones are now found between the stones, A stone is a mountain … ”
In 1889, archaeologist NI Veselovsky, digging near the Stone Grave mound, “to check rumors” came to the grave and excavated here. Veselovsky unearthed several caves and suggested the artificial origin of the mound. He wrote: “Originally, the main cave was cleared under a huge stone, which had stops on either side. Entrance to it formed two stones, loosely adhering to each other. Through this move, the sand was dug by buckets. Subsequently, another entrance to the cave was found, parallel to the first, somewhat wider … Soon I had to leave work because two stones of 10 pood weight fell from the sides of the cave. Because the inhabitants of the village (Terpenje) powdered explosions by shaking the cave (in search of a treasure (Ed.)) Or because workers, undermining the sand, densely lashed along the edges of the cave, weakened its bases, only it became dangerous and threatened to drain . The workers did not have time to clear it so that accurate measurements could be made, it was possible to sit freely in a cave, and even stand in places. The ceiling is scratched quite deep, in places in half a vertex, intersecting straight and curved lines. Similar figures appeared in another small cave, near the so-called “heroic monument” … These insects people took for inscriptions, in another cave, also quite long, were roughly carved into the image of goats and horses. ” Not finding any treasure or burial, Veselovsky was disappointed and stopped working. An image of a mammoth or a bull in the grotto number 9. The era of the Eneolithic, the end of IV – the beginning. Ill thousand BC.
Since 1932, the staff of the Melitopol Historical and Local History Museum became interested in the monument. They drew due attention to the many rock carvings inside the grottoes and caves of the Stone Grave. In 1934 VN Danilenko, at that time a young member of the museum, who led the excavations at the Stone Grave, wrote several letters to the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, seeking more extensive archaeological work. The expedition was headed by the famous Soviet archaeologist O. Bader. Then more than 30 new places containing images were discovered. Work continued only until 1941, as they were interrupted by the Second World War. After the war, the research of the Stone Grave was resumed only in the fifties. Danilenko, BD Mikhailov and M. Ya. Rudinsky, opened 13 more places containing images. Image from the Grotto Grotto (No. 9). Late Paleolithic. End of IV – beginning of III millennium BC.
The stone tomb is not a disorderly heap of sandstone slabs, but a collapsed stone shell with grottoes and caves, in 65 of which petroglyphs have been preserved. They, thousands of images, embossed and drawn on slabs of grottoes and caves, ensured the glory of the Stone tomb. Here you can see and quite certain images, and mysterious laces of shamanic signs. Since bisons, mammoths and rhinoceroses wandered around the steppe in ancient times, the herds of horses and saigas wore, elks and wild boars wandered in thickets of reeds and boars; bulls-tours were grazed on the plain-they became the main subjects for the ancient creators. Basically, the drawings were applied to the sandstone not in colors, as, for example, in France or in the Southern Urals, but were wiped with a piece of hard stone. Who are these unknown painters can only guess, because neither in the Stone Grave nor in the immediate vicinity of it have human settlements found that can be associated with the monument. On the basis of this, the researchers conclude that the stone grave was used exclusively for religious purposes, as a sanctuary. In addition, almost all the images of the Stone Grave are painted on the inner surfaces of stone blocks, and they can only be seen penetrating into grottoes, lazes and caves, which also indicates their alleged sacrality. For the inhabitants of the steppe of that time, the Stone Grave was a kind of beacon on the plain, to which many roads and trails were drawn. Everyone who came here found himself a place among the stones on a sand hill and brought in their contribution to their design. The chronology of petroglyphs covers a huge period from the XXIV-XXII millennium BC. up to the 10th-12th centuries. They are applied by small rocks of hard rocks, which easily left traces on soft sandstone. Several such quartz stones were discovered during the research.
At a small distance from the stone tombs were found Palaeolithic, Neolithic settlements and Bronze Age settlement, but any direct contact with the stone tombs were found. The lack of archaeological material and the uniqueness of many images of the Stone Grave forced the researchers to try to date the monument based on various interpretations of the petroglyphs themselves. The earlier dating of Palaeolithic defended mainly VN Danilenko and O. N. Bader, M. Ya Rudinskiy and others have adhered to the Neolithic dating. The discussion essentially came down to whether one of the largest petroglyph image of a mammoth or a bull (the mammoth would have testified in favor of the Paleolithic and Neolithic bull in favor). Panelists were unable to reach a consensus, and continued until the end of life in their own way, call the grotto with a controversial image of “Grotto bull” and “Grot mammoth.”
Along with this, some researchers noted the possibility of using the sanctuary, both during the Paleolithic and then in the Neolithic times, and some rejected this possibility. In particular, M.Ya. Rudinsky drew attention to the fact that in the Stone Grave no traces of the imposition of new images on the old were found, which, in his opinion, indicates rather the application of petroglyphs of one culture during one historical epoch. Among the caves found, the Bison cave and the Mysteries cave with late Paleolithic images are especially prominent. In the cave number 36-6, mesolithic picturesque drawings of a deer, a deer, an archer and a woman were found. The Horseshoe Cave with numerous images of the early-middle bronze era, including human footsteps, a horseshoe, an animal (horse?) In a deer mask, was also pleasing. And cave number 54 contained drawings of waterfowl and animals (musk oxen?). Unique was the Grotto of the Dragon, in the depths of which the sculpture of the head of the Vedic dragon Vritra remained. A remarkable fact was the discovery of sandstone slabs depicting ancient “letters”, dating from the 6th-beginning of the 4th millennium BC.
Many images are considered by the researchers as drawings of animals (bulls, deer), as well as their combinations (“bull team”, “animals in thickets”, “bulls in self-defense pose”, “sacrifice of man and animal”), etc. The rest petroglyphs are traditionally are interpreted as magical drawings used in rituals that stimulate successful hunting, fishing, etc. For example, the frequent use of criss-crossing lines characteristic of the Stone Grave is sometimes interpreted as a symbol of fishing nets, the image of which was intended for the cult Vågå ritual that can bring good luck when fishing. Inside Grotto No. 9 (Grotto of the Bull or Mammoth), a horizontal stone was discovered that could be used as an altar, which in part confirms such interpretations. (However, no archaeological evidence of the use of the stone as an altar was found.) The peculiarity of the main body of the petroglyphs of the Stone Grave has introduced many difficulties for attempts at interpretation. Among the images there are those that resonate with the petroglyphs of Sweden and Karelia. Such images include series of round holes and “imprints” of human tracks. However, the bulk of petroglyphs of the Stone Grave is unique in its kind. From 1983 to 2004, the study of the monument was conducted by B.D. Mikhailov. The result of the field works was the discovery of 15 new grottoes and caves in which a lot of rare rock carvings were discovered. These deeply realistic drawings give an idea of the economic activities of primitive people who inhabited southern Ukraine.
A non-standard approach to the interpretation of petroglyphs was proposed by Orientalist A. G. Kifishin. He investigated the Stone Grave in 1994-1996 and came to the conclusion that the images are protoshumerskie inscriptions. AG Kifishin believes that he deciphered most of the known images of the Stone Grave and gives the results of his work in a large monograph. Drawing from the grotto number 9, panel number 5. According to the traditional interpretation – “Animals in the bush,” according to AG Kifishin – protoshumersky text.
For example, according to the conclusions of A. G. Kifishin, the image “Animals in thickets” should be transliterated as follows: “Bear (bear) (on) Water Court Anunnaki seed, 140 seed Anunnaki (in) womb (mother) 10 Birds Water condemned (a) , // Meslamtaya, Ashnan, // Ninazu // (i) Nanarakshgi (for the sake of) the heads (that is, the victims) The Anunnaki were killed (and gone from the underworld?) To the Queen // (these). ” Following the suggestion of A. G. Kifishin, various statements of public figures in Ukraine caused a wide resonance in the media. But these studies have not been published in the scientific literature. And the famous Orientalist IM Dyakonov, a longtime opponent and opponent of Kifishin’s methods in Sumerology, even called them “delirium.” While viewing the exhibits in the museum operating on the territory of the reserve, Kifishin, unexpectedly even for himself, could easily read the inscription on one of the tablets . It was a copy of the signs from the grotto of the Stone Grave. The scientist immediately decided to seriously study deciphering the “texts” of the strange mountain. As a result of intense long-term work, a capital study entitled “The Ancient Sanctuary of the Stone Grave.” The experience of deciphering the Proto-Sumerian archives of the ХІІ-ІІІ millennium BC. ” The book was presented to the trial of scientists and the public in the fall of 2001 and caused a more than controversial reaction – from fervent support to fierce criticism and attacks.