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Sculpture Tarvas

Location: N59° 20` 56.9", E26° 21` 2.10"

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Tarvas which has given a previous name to the city of Rakvere and Tarvanpää stronghold, is a sculpture depicting prehistoric aurochs. It is situated close to the Order Castle on Vallimägi hill. The author of the sculpture is Tauno Kangro. The sculpture was unveiled on June 15, 2002 to mark the 700th anniversary of Rakvere. Tarvas is 7.1 metres long and 3.5 metres tall, the distance between its two horns is 3.4 metres. It weighs 7 tonnes standing on a granite base bearing the coat of arms of Rakvere, the important dates in Rakvere's history and the names of sponsors. 

Aurochs (Bos primigenius) is an extinct type of large wild cattle. It is the ancestor of domestic cattle. The species survived in Europe until last recorded aurochs died in Poland in 1627. Aurochs were bigger and had longer legs than modern cattle breeds. The height of its shoulder was 1.75 metres. At the same time it was slender and lighter than today's cattle. The body shape of aurochs was athletic and showed strongly expressed neck and shoulder musculature. The light horns were almost 80 cm long and directed forwards. The bulls were usually black with a light eel stripe along the back, the cows were lighter. Aurochs were aggressive and weren't afraid of human beings. They didn't have natural enemies because the wolves were helpless attacking them. They were swift, strong and fast which made them extremely dangerous. As not very many pieces of aurochs' bones have been found from the Stone Age settlements, we can be sure that hunting aurochs was dangerous and complicated.