KHOID TSENKHER CAVE

Caves are Common Natural creations which are one of the Basic Tourist Attraction on Mongolia. Caves as unique Natural Creations and rare exhibit have attracted researchers’ attention since early times. There is a survey indicating that there are 200 caves with more than 3 meter length. Another 80 might-be-caves have been recorded. These pits however are shut and if you listen to them you would hear minor sounds.

The older the caves, the closer they are ground surface. On the contrary the younger caves are far away from ground surface. The most of the caves are poor in animals and plants. In most cases owners of the caves are bats. Some living beings tend to adapt to darkness in caves and stay to live there. For instance: crystal clear colored ants inhabit at Eregneg cave located in Tuv province.

The Khoid Tsenkher cave is famous for its rock arts and is wonderful domestic and international tourist destination. It is situated 25 kilometers away from Mankhan soum of Khovd Province. If you walk 7 kilometers up the Tsenkher River you will directly reach the Cave. The elevation of the Khoid Tsenkher Cave is 1571 meters above.

This cave was first discovered in 1951 by O.Namnandorj who had great interest on rock art inside the Cave. Since then the Cave has come to public attention. By that time Russian Scholar A.P. Okladnikow placed high value on this discovery and named it “Valuable contribution to the development of the world science” Dr.D. Maidar, a Mongolian researcher described the rock arts be the most astonishing among the Stone age findings.

The Khoid Tsenkher Cave looks like it has two entrances as the half of actual entrance is sealed with rocks, stones felling off the top and bird faces. The height of the Cave is 20 meters. There are a number of long domes hanging down the ceiling.

(Rock arts of an Artist from 30-40 thousand years ago)



The walls and ceiling of the Cave have ancient rock arts. The artists must have worked hard to leave their wonderful creations to us. The rock arts had been created by using sharp-edged stones and coated with ocher and dazzle paints. The artists had used two colors in his creations: heavy and light pinkish. These Brilliant rock arts are considered the most ancient in Central Asia. The Scientists have observed unique aesthetics tradition out of the rock arts. Wild ox with sword-like horns, wild goats and sheep, horses, camels, elephants, snakes, ostrich-like birds etc which signify that Mongolia had once been a warmer country. This art confirms that Mongolian people had lived in the same era with ostrich.


These rock arts have been fingerprinted in many parts which tell us that the art may belong to Paleolithic era, during which people had used their finger to form rock art. Depiction of ox on rock is somewhat popular during primitive society in France and Spain. Spruces grown around the Cave area are very commonly seen at European old stone art. This means that outlook of the artists of Stone Age was similar with those of Europe. In this view, a conclusion that these rocks clearly demonstrate signs of formation of art of human being was suffered from devastating ice coverage which resulted in extinction of these animals. The rock arts have been speculated to have formed 30,000-40,000 years ago. Most interestingly, these rock arts depicting animals of that age never portrayed human beings.


Some archeologists have discovered extraordinary settlement and province of Paleolithic and Mesolithic Eras after Thorough research of the Khoid Tsenkher Cave and Surroundings. In light of this, we may refer to the Khoid Tsenkher Cave cultural and historical memory as the Cave itself along with findings from neighboring area involves a vast territory. Scientists consider that creation of art is specific to not only western part of Mongolia but in Central Asia and Eastern part of Mongolia. In 1996 the UNESCO has enlisted this amazing Cave into the World Heritage Tentative List.

 

The first study by Kh.Perlee in 1943 triggered off annual expeditions in 1960-1980. A research work on seal imprints of Rashaan Khad was produced. A research on the Bronze Age initiated in 1973-1974 by “Gurvan Gol” expedition group, but beginning from 1980-1981 Mongol-Soviet joint expedition continued the work. During the last expedition it was proved that the settlement had 4 layers which are 2.5-3.5m in depth and about 2500 stone tools, bones of several types of animals were found. The most significant find among them was a tusk of rhinoceros. People of the Paleolithic Era who lived around the Khentii range and Rashaan Khad had been making various flint tools in order to hunt a khulan, a mammoth and a rhino. This ancient lifestyle was depicted on the rock.


15000-8000 years ahead of time Central Asian climate changed dramatically and huge animals began to die out. This forced primitive people to hunt quicker and smaller animals. So, they came up with bow and arrow best fit to hunt these animals. During this period people also began to move or migrate more often. Stone tools of particular period which were found in Mongolia, especially those called Goviin Uldets by scholars, were also found in Siberia, Far East, North China, Korea, Hokkaido of Japan as well as Alaska of USA.