Azokh Cave

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Hadrut Region, Karabakh

Interior of Azokh Cave
Mouth of Azokh Cave
"Map of Cave"

Excavations show that Azokh is as old as mankind itself. In this Old Stone Age dwelling-cave lived the "mustyeryan" man.

Many things found in Azokh prove its ancient past; the pitchers found there tell us that wine making was accepted here long time ago. It’s name Azokh (unripe grape in old Armenian) shows this too.

In the village Azokh there are a number of temples and churches; Amar Khatun, Tsits Kar Berd, Astvatsatsin church (14,7x8,2), which is in good condition. There are other caves by Azokh too. Its most notable cave is Yorvan or Azokh.

In the end of the XIX c., Makar episcope Barkhudaryants in this cave saw "... a woman’s statue... The statue is stony, her clothes and head wear represented Artsakh-woman."

This ancient cave has six chambers, which are connected with each other by different passages. Decorations and ornaments in the halls are unique and impressive.

In one of the chambers scientists found a part of the jaw of Mustryeryan man with three teeth on it. This discovery had great importance not only for helping to reconstruct the Mustyeryan man but also once again to prove that the area was inhabited by ancient man.

Many scientists from around the whole world visited this mysterious cave.

More than 2000 bones of 43 types of animals, as well as 6000 stone instruments, many remainders of constrictions and other objects were found in the cave.

There is a good page of information about Azokh cave with a couple of pictures on the Azerbaijan International site. It contains some rather political commentary at the end and claims it is "impossible" to visit, but that is not so. It is just impossible to get there from Azerbaijan, you have to instead go to Armenia then Karabakh. Also out of date is the statement that the bones here are the oldest on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Older human bones have now been found in nearby Georgia.

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