Mongolia in central Asia is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Mongolia’s World Heritage Sites: the Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai.
The ancient petroglyphs of the mountainous Altai region of Mongolia are important prehistoric relics of the early cultures of central Asia:
The Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai include three rock art sites in Bayan-Ulgii aimag [province]: Tsagaan Salaa–Baga Oigor of Ulaankhus soum [district], and Upper Tsagaan Gol (Shiveet Khairkhan) and Aral Tolgoi, both of Tsengel soum. All three are located in high mountain valleys carved out by Pleistocene glaciers. These three property components include large concentrations of petroglyphs and funerary and ritual monuments reflecting the development of human culture over a period of 12,000 years. The persistent relationships between rock art, surface monuments and the larger physical context of rivers, ridges and cardinal directions create a vivid sense of the integration of human communities with the land they inhabited.
The earliest images reflect a period beginning in the Late Pleistocene and lasting through the Early Holocene (ca. 11,000–6,000 years BP), when the paleoenvironment shifted from dry to forested steppe and the valleys provided an ideal habitat for hunters of large wild game. Later images from the middle Holocene (ca. 6,000–4,000 years BP) reflect the gradual reassertion of steppe vegetation in this part of the the Altai and the early emergence of herding as the economic basis of communities. Imagery from the succeeding, Late Holocene Period, reflects the transition to horse-dependent nomadism during the Early Nomadic and Scythian periods (1st millennium BCE) and the subsequent spread of steppe empires in the later Turkic Period (7th–9th c. CE).
The Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai represent the most complete and best preserved visual record of human prehistory and early history of a region at the intersection of Central and North Asia. (World Heritage Centre #1382)
The petroglyph sites today are included within Mongolia’s vast Altai Tavan Bogd National Park.
You can find a gallery of additional photos of the Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai on the World Heritage Centre’s website.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list of World Heritage Sites online at the World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites, available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures are you exploring in your homeschool this Leo Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 752–859; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇲🇳
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historical and natural sites of international importance. Download a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌎🌍🌏