Archeologists from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the cultural relic bureaus of Altay Prefecture and Qinghe County excavated a set of stone shields which were used in the sacrifices by nomads in China around 3000 years ago. These shields were excavated in the northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The researchers believe that this is a breakthrough for researching the life of ancient nomads.
The shields were excavated from Huahaizi (sea of flowers) Lake in the Altai Mountains that border the Mognolia. These appear like pentagonal stones. They have the circle in the centre and are surrounded by the herringbone pattern. The shields are believed to date back to the late Bronze Age, i.e., somewhere around 3000 years ago.
The experts from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the cultural relic bureaus of Altay Prefecture and Qinghe County kicked off the excavation project in July 2013 in order to discover ways of protecting the relics in a better way. Archeologists compared the patterns on the shields to the ones on deer stones. The patterns of herringbone and pentagons are found on a lot of deer stones on Eurasian steppe.
Deer stones are actually the ancient the megaliths which are engraved with symbols that are found across the world, but are mainly concentrated in Mongolia and Siberia. The patterns at the site are similar to the ones at the deer stones found at Mongolia's Khovsgol Province which are around 2000 km away to the East.
The experts believed that stone shields were used for the sacrifices and not for combat. These were the ritual objects for the high-level sacrifices for driving out the evil spirits. Modern Shaman wear the small shields as the ritual objects. The discovery of objects like these indicated towards the fact that practices like these dated back to around 1000 years ago.
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