The Sunduki tract - known as the Siberian Stonehenge, is located in the floodplain on the banks of the White Iyus in the Republic of Khakassia, and is a complex of surface archaeological objects combining burial grounds, rock paintings and special structures, which together are actually a device for observing the sky, an astronomical observatory of the ancients people. Almost everything - both gravestones and drawings - serves the main task of ancient astronomers: observing the stars, the sun and the moon.
Professor Vitaly Larichev, from the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, claims that the building, which is about 16,000 years old, was not only of great religious importance for the people who lived in these places, but was also a place for observing the stars. At the top of each of the eight peaks lies a giant stone that looks like a box or chest, hence the name.
The complex has several observation platforms, two versions of "sundials", a calendar, the life of the great warrior, reflecting the mythology of the ancients, as well as many objects and artifacts of unknown purpose.
The territory of the archaeological complex combines the layering of several cultures and eras, from the most ancient Caucasian, to the Scythian and Khakass periods.
The pearl of the complex is the "White Horse", located on Black Mountain, next to the Chests ridge. This rock drawing, made using a unique technology, according to the professor of archeology V. E. Larichev, is from 17 to 30 thousand years old and is a projection of the constellation Leo.
The objects of the Chests awaken the imagination and make you take a fresh look at our ancient history.
In front of the Chests is a huge clearing, which only priests could step on. The Khakases were afraid of this place and never went here. In ancient times, the priests made observations in the clearing. Each excavation on the rock ledge, according to the scientist Larichev, is a convenient place for observing a certain constellation. According to the hypothesis of the same Larichev, there are 20 Chests in the system. The most popular and available are only five
The Fifth Chest is the southernmost of all. There is a large group of burial grounds in front of it. The Fifth Chest is completely connected with the movement of the Sun. This is the Chest of Time. Here they met the New Sun, shamans performed rituals of worshiping it. Until now, there is a path along which the priests walked to the fifth Chest, where the sun's rays were directed. It depicts a snake and a dragon, divided into six parts.
Vitaly Larichev considers this Chest to be the ancient clock of mankind. Interesting is his hypothesis that all Siberian folklore began once here, on the Sunduki. In addition, there are many astronomical sites from which the ancient man conducted observations of the main cosmic luminaries.
The Fourth Chest is a whole collection of the epic from the life of a warrior: his birth, development, participation in hunting, battles, victories and death. This is not often seen. Typically, individual plots are depicted.
The remains of burials were found in the vicinity, and there is every reason to believe that this hero was real.
The monument, according to Larichev, belongs to the late Tagar culture of the 2nd early 1st century BC. Now, unfortunately, only fragments of this wall remain.
This Chest is symbolically called the mountain of the past, present and future.It is here that, according to legend, one can get in touch with the upper and lower worlds.
First Chest. The most beautiful and significant in the ridge in the ritual and astrological sense. According to Academician V. Ye. Larichev, who has been studying Chests for about 30 years, it was here that the "world mountain" was located - an astrological sanctuary, including a priestly temple and an ancient observatory.
Between the First Chest and Mount Karatag (Black Mountain) are the remains of the mysterious Necropolis (city of the dead) - a special system of burial grounds built for astronomical observations. The decoration of the Necropolis is a large menhir in the shape of a horse's muzzle depicting the space symbols of the Tagar era.
“For many years I have been trying to solve the mystery of the chests. We are not digging into the earth, we are studying what the ancient people knew about astronomy,”says Professor Larichev, who in his aspiration became an“astro-archaeologist”.
“What I found was a surprise even to myself. Comparing the maps accumulated over many years of astronomical observations, I realized that here, in the Chests, we can see the oldest of the astronomical observatories. Its age is about 16,000 years! The ancient inhabitants of this valley watched the sunsets and rises of heavenly bodies every day,”said Larichev.
The professor believes that these ancient astronomers of Siberia, without using instruments, used giant rocks and cracks in them for their calculations and observations. He claims to have found numerous ancient solar and lunar observatories throughout the Chests.
In this small window, the star Arcturus appears on certain days.
“I knew that there must be a starting point in the search for a square-shaped stone that we found overgrown in the grass. We spent a lot of time, and he became the key to the riddle of the Chests. If you stand on this stone on the summer solstice, you can see the sunrise right in the crack between the stones on the top of the hill, "- said the professor in an interview with reporters.
On one of the rock walls there is an engraving of a dragon's head pointing in one direction and a snake in the other. These drawings were used by ancient people to determine the time with the help of the sun.
Professor Larichev added: “In the morning, the shadow moves along the body of the snake from head to tail, and in the afternoon it comes from the other side along the dragon. From the same observation point, one can determine the true position of the north and south."
A beautiful panorama of the steppe with a network of irrigation canals opens up from the Chests, through which clean (you can really drink it) and very cold water runs. These canals were made by the hands of the ancient Khagas farmers (II-VI centuries AD), and their main network still functions normally. In general, there are many legends about this valley. It is reliably known that a powerful people lived in it for a long time, who built stone houses, fortresses and skillfully used natural structures. In the XII century. The Mongols, passing through these lands, massacred the entire population and tried to destroy all buildings.
In the northeast of the First Chest, ten kilometers away, there is Mount Kobyakova, at the top of which there is a mysterious "fortress", which was used not as a defense, but rather as a magical structure. Long, meter-high shafts made of stones separate the sacred inner "room" from the rest of the world.
From the "fortress" there is a path to a small gorge, where the "sanctuary of the Sun" of the Tagar era is located, with clear drawings of the solar deity and his priests.
At the foot of Kobyakova Gora, on the high bank of the Iyus, one of the most mysterious astronomical instruments in the area is located, the so-called. "Limb", consisting of large stones set in an arc.
Also of interest is the "Dagger" complex, which lies to the north of the Chests.
The four small ridges, arranged in a square, with a small valley inside, also represent a series of astronomical platforms with drawings and observation stones.The most impressive is the huge half-kilometer rampart that separates the "Dagger" from the swampy valley with canals.
Everything here has been walked and viewed many times over the decades - step by step, kilometer by kilometer, far and wide, and therefore it seems that you cannot find something new near the fiery red sandstone mountains. But, apparently, the treasures of the rock Chests are inexhaustible, for every next field season is not complete without a surprise.
Such a surprise in 2005 was the opening of the “temple of the Creation of the Universe” where the First Chest can be seen at a glance. On one of its two planes, completely covered with multi-figured compositions of various types of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic images, a majestic picture, unique for the rock art of Siberia, was captured. In the center of it is the main component of the plot telling about the creation of the Universe - an oval, vertically placed egg. Inside it are inscribed the correct circle of the Ocean's waters and the sphere of the Earth, and in the immediate vicinity there are 7 figures of the primordial gods. Drawings of a predatory eagle with the heads of bulls at the ends of widely spaced wings, a man with arms raised to Heaven, a supreme deity and 13 rounded symbols of the luminaries, which make it possible to read the time from the Moon and the Sun for a year and 3 years, are also embossed right there. The planes of the temple are still kept from the weather by the ceiling - a massive sandstone slab, and at its base there are multi-ton blocks, embodied in stone by the round flat Sun and the same flat, crescent-shaped Moon. Their sunrises, respectively, in winter and summer, were observed from the temple above the top of the First Chest, the height of which exactly corresponded to the height of the distant horizon. This means that when viewed from the new temple, it again reached the height of the orbits of both stars, once again confirming its status as the World Mountain.
For people, the Egyptian pyramids have always been synonymous with the great achievements of their ancestors in the formation of proto-sciences and spiritual canons. Siberian Chests, created by Nature and extremely witty, without particularly heavy efforts, arranged by ancient people, deserve no less veneration. This statement is true, among other things, because, as it turned out, the primitive man of northern Asia began to evaluate their "heavenly aspect" long before the appearance of man-made phenomena on the banks of the Nile - in the darkness of fifteen hundred thousand years of the ancient stone age, when in the basin of the "Primordial Earth" Iyus roamed mammoths and woolly rhinos.
This is only a brief description of what is included in the cultural heritage of the "Chests"; it is impossible to overestimate the importance of this archaeological site.