Mongolia – The Gobi Desert – Part 5

September 2015

Petroglyphs – this form of rock art is found all over Central Asia. On a recent expedition to Spiti, in Northern India, the archaeologist John Vincent Bellezza focused on documenting 24 rock art sites, and I highly recommend reading his detailed explanations of the meaning of various types of rock carvings.

Water Hole

Water Hole

When I was in the Altai region of Mongolia four years ago we found several undocumented petroglyph sites, and I hope to find more in Gobi. Originally we were planning to view the famous tourist site of the Bronze-Aged Khavtsgait Petroglyphs, but Hishka had an even better idea. He knew that the same range of hills were literally crawling with petroglyphs, so we found a completely different area to explore. We found a small river valley and drove up it until it narrowed and then we started hiking.

It wasn’t long before we found the first of many petroglyphs, and this site was completely undocumented and off the beaten path. I wandered off on my own for several hours and  took pictures of a number of rock carvings.

After lunch we drove across the desert to the Flaming Cliffs, the site made famous in the 1920s by the discovery of dinosaur eggs by American explorer and naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews. That will be the subject of my next post.

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