Azokh cave


The most noteworthy Stone Age cave-settlement is the one situated between Azokh and Drakhtik villages, excavated for 18 years. Beginning in the 1960’s archeologists started examining this ancient cave with multiple entries and exits, and six halls. The largest hall is 3000m2. The walls of the gigantic round hall are uneven, with stalactites and stalagmites.

While excavating the different layers of the cave floor, archaeologists found for the first time here in the 3000 year “Ashelian” layer old stone tools, fossil remains, traces of art, as well as production waste. A number of passages start from different sides of this hall. The passage going east connects the large hall with the next one. At some point in time the human hand enlarged it. Several meters later another hall is reached. A row of rooms is formed between the tall vaults with occasional stalactites. The floor is uneven in places and has some small pools, horizontal passages, and pointed stalagmites rising up from the ground. Various types of weapons, trimmed stones and hundreds of animal bones were found here. In the food waste of the first inhabitants, scientists have found bones of extinct animals. In contrast to the others, the floor of the forth hall is even and dry, there is almost no dribble. This hall has only one entry and what's most important- traces of human work are clearly felt in here. This hall is a dead end branch off of the pass, and was probably used for hiding people and valuables. From here the passage turns SW and goes out through the other opening of the cave. Near the beginning of this opening, 7m deep, archeologists discovered a part of the lower jaw of Mustyeryan man. The jaw fragment shows that the size and order of teeth differs from modern man's jaw. Thorough examination showed that the jaw had parts of the wisdom-teeth and two other teeth. The remains of this man who lived 50-100,000 years ago have been given the name “Azokh Man". Another cave was discovered near Azokh Cave. The length of underground passages of that mysterious cave is more that 300m. In the cave were discovered more than 20,000 bones of 43 various animals, as well as more than 6000 stony instruments and other objects. In the cave were discovered remainders of medieval stony constructions. Besides that, in recent years, 3km SE of the cave, in Urushen field, hydroworkers have discovered quite a large stream starting from the cave, which is 80m deep. The "Treasury cave" has not yet opened all the secrets. This large settlement of primitive man, which has many millennia of history, is gradually being discovered.

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