The tsenkher caves

Tsenkher Caves are located in the West of the sum of Mankhan, in the province of Khovd, about one hundred kilometres (62,14 miles) South Khovd city. They are 220 metres (721 feet) above the sea level, on the banks of the Khoid Tsenkher River, at the foot of Mount Chandmani.

These caves were explored in 1967 by a Soviet-Mongolian archaeological expedition. They house noteworthy examples of wall art of the Stone Age in Mongolia. The rock paintings date back from Upper Palaeolithic (20000 – 15000 before J.-C.). Some animals are painted, such as bulls, ibex, mouflons, gazelles, camels, elephants, ostriches, or snakes, but also some trees. They’re painted in red. These rock paintings are protected by the State since 1971, and they’re inscribed on the tentative list of Mongolia of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1996.

One cave is 40 metres (131 feet) long, and the other one extends on 130 metres (427 feet) and has two rooms. Discovering these caves was very important because it confirmed the hypothesis that hunters inhabited the rock part of Western Mongolia right from the Stone Age. This discovery especially shows that wall art has its origins, not only in Occident, but also in the heart of Asia, in Mongolia.

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