Petroglyphs of Tsagaan Salaa-Baga Oigor – Ulaankhus, Mongolia - Atlas Obscura

Petroglyphs of Tsagaan Salaa-Baga Oigor

Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
Ulaankhus, Mongolia

These ancient pecked images are among the oldest and best-preserved in Mongolia. 

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Among the snow-capped peaks, freshwater lakes, and grassy valleys of Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, thousands of ancient petroglyphs cover the rocks of the Tsagaan-Salaa Valley. Located in the westernmost province of Mongolia, the 15-kilometer site is home to at least 10,000 figures pecked and engraved during the Neolithic Period and the Bronze Age. 

Many of the petroglyphs depict humans herding or hunting wild animals, offering a glimpse of how the hunter-gatherer lifestyle would eventually give way to the domestication of animals as livestock. A closer look reveals that some of the figures resemble extant wildlife—animals that continue to roam this alpine landscape today—such as red deer, ibexes, and snow leopards.

Know Before You Go

Keep in mind that petroglyphs can only be conserved if admired from a distance. Please refrain from touching, rubbing, or walking on the artwork.