Thursday, August 09, 2012

MONGOLIA -- ROCK ART FROM 4,000 YEARS AGO

Eighteen rock art sites dating back over 4,000 years have been discovered by archaeologists in northern China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region. The prehistoric art was discovered in the Yinshan Mountains in Urad Middle Banner (an administration division of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region), said Liu Binjie, head of the Cultural Relics Bureau of Urad Middle Banner.

The rock art is still clear and Liu added that they are the finest of their kind that have been unearthed so far. Among the carvings, seven faces were exaggerated and monstrous, and have been interpreted as the seven stars of the 'Big Dipper' (Ursa Major) constellation.

Liu concluded that these may have been drawn by prehistoric people for worship. So far, over 10,000 rock art sites have been discovered in the Yinshan Mountains, according to the archaeologists.

Liu said that carvings of faces found on Yinshan Mountains cliffs are similar to those in the Helan Mountains, located on the boundary between Ningxia and Inner Mongolia. They are also similar to those in eastern Russia, showing close connections with ancient peoples' migration patterns, showing similar worship ceremonies. Local government and relevant departments have made efforts to protect the rock art in this area, including restrictions on grazing and the installation of monitoring equipment.

Edited from China Daily (22 April 2012)

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