NOVOSIBIRSK, November 2Russian archaeologists, together with Mongolian colleagues, discovered rock art dating back about 12-10 thousand years BC in the Altai Mountains on the territory of Mongolia near the border with Russia, Vyacheslav Molodin, head of the paleometal archeology department of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told reporters on Thursday.
“”This is an area adjacent to the border with Russia opposite the Ukok plateau. Several archaeological sites have been found… Among them, the most remarkable is the so-called Baga-Oygur-5 monument, where a sanctuary with the oldest rock carvings to date was discovered. This is the so-called images of the Kalgutin style – the end of the Pleistocene – the beginning of the Holocene,” he said.
Molodin explained that archaeologists found a stone “forehead” with an area of approximately 20 by 20 meters, which was used by ancient people for drawing rock carvings. The age of creation of the most ancient of them, according to him, is about 12-10 thousand years BC.
“”More than 20 wonderful compositions were found. In addition to typical images of horses, images of bulls, deer, and snakes were found here. All this forms not just individual drawings, but compositions that allow us to talk more specifically in the near future about the ritual practice of the population who in these areas of the Mongolian Altai lived,” he said.
The scientist noted that such a sanctuary with rock carvings of the so-called Kalgutin style was found for the first time on the territory of the Altai mountain system, located both in Russia and Mongolia.
“In a number of cases, we observe that individual Kalgutin images were overlapped by later drawings of the Bronze Age, well dated – they depict chariots, horses, a man on a chariot… Today, thanks to technical equipment, it has been possible not only to record each composition, but to make this fixation is global,” Molodin said.
He clarified that it was possible to photograph the mountains using drones, which made it possible to place all the scenes on the plan with centimeter accuracy in order to further discuss the ancient images in detail.
“”Based on the stylistic analysis of finds depicted in this style of mammoths and rhinoceros, on the basis of palimpsests, when these drawings are overlapped by later ones, we are inclined to believe that this is the end of the Pleistocene – the beginning of the Holocene. That is, 12-10 thousand years BC,” he added.