Drone aerial shot of the ancient Turkish ruins on Dongoin shiree. (North at the top.) Segments of the inscriptions and sarcophagus excavated from the hole at the center of the ruins can be seen. (September 2016)
Drone aerial shot of the ancient Turkish ruins on Dongoin shiree. (North at the top.) Segments of the inscriptions and sarcophagus excavated from the hole at the center of the ruins can be seen. (September 2016) Osaka University and Institute of History and Archaeology, Mongolian Academy of Science/ Eurekalert

You must have heard about England's Stonehenge, a ring of standing stones, constructed during approximately 3000 BC to 2000 BC. This time a joint research team from Osaka University and the Institute of History and Archaeology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences have discovered another strangely-arranged ancient monument on a grassland called Dongoin shiree in eastern Mongolia.

The group of archaeologists has said that they have found the ruins of a unique monument surrounded by 14 large stone pillars, each covered in Turkic Runic inscriptions and arranged in a square.

This excavation was led by Professor Takashi OSAWA at Osaka University, who discovered 12 new inscriptions at the site.

According to Eurekalert, after the three years of excavation from 2015 to 2017, archaeologists said that at the centre of the square they have found a sarcophagus.

The press release from Osaka University states that the person who may have been buried there is assumed to be a viceroy during the reign of Bilge Qaghan of the Second Turkic Qaghanate. They have reached this conclusion through the description of the inscriptions on the pillars,

While talking about the man described in the inscriptions, Osawa also said that he might be the "commander in chief...in eastern Mongolia during the reign of Tengri Qaghan, from 734 to 741."

On the other hand, because of this finding, the understanding of the power dynamics among the ruling empires of that region have reached a new level. According to the Osaka University, the discovery also provides evidence that the region, Dongoin shiree steppe, was the centre of the eastern Turkic Qaghanate (Khagan or Qagan is a title of imperial rank in the Turkic and Mongolian languages) and this location was not unknown to others.