Rock Art of Ikh Tengeriin Am – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - Atlas Obscura

Rock Art of Ikh Tengeriin Am

Ancient site of Mongolian Shamanism located near a road leading out of Ulaanbaatar. 


Not far from Ihk Tenger, the fenced-off Mongolian presidential palace, is a site of Bronze Age petroglyphs. These are barely visible on the rock cliffs, but you can climb up the stairs to get a closer look.

Motifs in Mongolian rock art include human figures that appear to morph into large winged birds, enclosures filled with dots, and horses traveling along trails. The rock art was first recorded by the Soviet scientist A.P. Okladnikov in 1960. In addition to the Bronze Age art, there are ink paintings that date back to the 13th century featuring inscriptions in Mongolian, Chinese, and Tibetan.

The other attraction here is the many ovoo, structures adorned with ceremonial silk scarves, or khadag. The ovoo are littered with offerings and represent a resurgence of traditional Mongolian shamanism.

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