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Archaeological Site "Stone Tomb"

Date of Submission: 11/08/2006
Criteria: (iii)(vi)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
State Service for the Cultural Heritage Protection
State, Province or Region:

Zaporizhia region; Melitopol district; Settlement "Myrne";

Ref.: 5075

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Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


The central part of this property presents a mound like hill of 12 m in height and 2,5 ha in area. It is known under the name of "Stone Tomb". This mound is made up of individual somatic sandstone clods or blocks, with a great number of caves and grottoes between them. On the grottoes' stone walls; there are over 1000 petro -- glyphs with symbolic, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic images. The oldest of them - a mammoth - without any doubt could be referred to the Late Stone Age. Most of the petroglyphs were created in the Bronze Age. On the whole, the Stone Tomb images represent traces of religious exercises of the hunters and cattle-breeders of this steppe zone of southeast Europe from the 20th c. B.C. to the 17th c. A.D. Sorne caves are of artificial origin; their cultural strata have been fixed as the Neolithic, Bronze and Early Iron Ages as well as of Middle Ages. So we have all the grounds to consider the Stone Tomb one of the oldest megalithic temples of the world which had been functioning many thousand years.

The property has survived in a good condition, some caves and grottoes have not been dug up yet. In the vicinity of this rock mound, there are remains of several sites and settlements of the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods making up, beyond any doubts, a single whole.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

Up to now, the site has kept its original authenticity and integrity. The property has been included in the Historic and Archaeological Preserve "Stone Tomb": measures have been taken for further shidy and to register the property.

Comparison with other similar properties

The archaeological site "Stone Tomb" has no direct analogues arnong the World Heritage archaeological sites. Some parts of it remind megalithic structures of the Stonehenge type (Great Britain) or petroglyphs of Tassili in Algeria.