Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai
Petroglyphs in Mongolia © Altaihunters
For those who are serious about exploring Mongolia's furthest corners - or for those deeply interested in the origins of mankind - a trip to the Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai is a highly recommended tourist activity. These complexes are home to the largest, best-preserved and oldest collection of rock art in north Asia, and the petroglyphs themselves document over 12,000 years of Mongolian culture.
The earliest images date from the Late Pleistocene era (about 10,000 BC), and depict a cultural landscape where the surrounding valleys provided a habitat for hunters of big game. Fascinatingly, the rock art images then extend into the Scythian and Turkic Periods, and show the transition firstly to a herding culture, and then to the horse-dependent, nomadic kind of lifestyle for which Mongolia is famous. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai provide visitors with an enthralling and authentic cross-section of 12 millennia of Mongolia's history.