Located in Mankhan soum of Khovd province, the Khoid Tsenkher Cave is one of the most important cultural sites in Mongolia. The cave was discovered by a Mongolian geologist Namnandorj in 1950 and it is well known for its prehistoric cave paintings. The main chamber of the cave is 20m high and there are few passages that get tighter if you keep going down there. Spacious as it is, the main chamber has a floor that is difficult to move around but here you can see the hard evidence of our ancestors were living in the cave 40,000 years ago. The cave paintings were first carved and then drawn on with red ocher and they depict various animals such as ostrich, turkey, crane, camel, mammoth, ox and snake as well as some trees. From those depictions, the most interesting one is mammoths because it suggested that such species did in fact inhabit Mongolia and later an expedition found a skeleton of a mammoth in Durgun soum of Khovd province back in 1998. Before, scientists were unsure if mammoths wandered the Mongolian steppes as there are very little findings that date back to the Old Stone Age. And because of that Khoid Tsenkher Caves’ paintings is considered to be the most important finding in Mongolia. Also, the animals depicted in the paintings suggest that Mongolia had a much warmer climate back then.
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