The Rock Art of Inner Mongolia & Ningxia (China) by Paola Demattè

Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Rock Art Sites

Page 2/13

Inner Mongolia

Urad Rear Banner/Wulate Houqi (Bayannur League/Bameng)

Bu'erhan Shan (Saiwusu Township), a small hill dotted with dark stones, is on the northern edge of the Yinshan range (Fig. 2:1, 15A). The petroglyphs are engraved on the flat and shiny surfaces of boulders or rock slabs covered by desert varnish. The motifs, which concentrate at the summit, include animals (mainly horses and mountain goats) and signs scratched superficially into the dark patina (Fig. 3). The characteristic of this site is its mostly isolated signs, rather than compositions or scenes. The hill, while not high (altitude 1630 m, but only about 50 m from the base), stands out of the generally flat desert plateau which surrounds it. At the base of the hill are a number of burials which, while still not excavated, have been attributed by local archaeologists to the Tujue people who were active in this area between the sixth-eight centuries AD.

Dishui Gou is on a high ledge inside a narrow ravine along the southern edge of the Yinshan (Bayinbaolige village) (Fig. 2:2). The signs consist mostly of circular patterns, perhaps pseudo-human faces or masks, deeply carved on the sides of the gully (Fig. 4). The gully is dry during the summer, but in spring seasonal waters bless the area, and at the neck where the images are found, the waters are forced through a narrow passage producing a waterfall. The position of the images on the highest cliff faces affords also a remarkable view of the fertile territories further south.

Dengkou County (Bayannur League/Bameng)

china rock art petroglyphs
Figure 6A
Location B
Dengkou county, on the southern side of the Yinshan (Langshan area), has one of the richest rock art concentrations of the Yinshan area which spread out through the intricate network of canyons (Fig. 5 & 2:3). Two canyons have been examined: Ge’er’aobao Gou and Molehetu Gou.

Ge’er’aobao Gou is a wide sandy canyon opening towards the fertile land formed by the flooding of the Yellow River (Fig. 15:B). Within the canyon are petroglyphs, burials, worship areas, habitations (old and recent) and springs. These water sources are associated with petroglyphs and small shrines. Archaeologists have collected Han pottery and Xixia (AD 1038-1227) porcelain, an indication of active trade over extended periods (Gai Shanlin 1986, 205-7). Petroglyphs are in dense concentrations on the steep walls of the eastern side of the canyon, and tend to be engraved on large slabs facing west or south or up walls Explain. Three locations running in close succession (A-B-C) are most remarkable.

china rock art petroglyphs
Figure 6B
Petroglyphs at Ge'er'aobao Gou (Dengkou county, Bayannur League, location C)
The rock images include a variety of themes: abstract symbols (spiral in form or circular), human faces or masks (Fig. 6:A), isolated animals and hunting and herding scenes (Fig. 6:B). The engravings often consist of deep rounded grooves ground into the rock surface. The differential weathering among the various petroglyphs indicates that images were carved over a long period of time.

Molehetu Gou, which is narrower than the main canyon, branches almost perpendicularly off the west side of Ge’er’aobao Gou and runs north-west. Here there are 5 main petroglyph sites: 4 on the northern cliff sides, and one on the southern side. The southern site is a rocky hillock about 50 metres high in front of which runs a creek. The petroglyphs cover the sloping area from the bottom of the hill to near the top across a width of about 100 metres. Its iconography consists mostly of deeply engraved faces or masks and 'abstract symbols', even though there are also standard animal figures and group scenes (Fig. 7).
Like us on Facebook & Follow us on Twitter to receive news & updates:

The China Rock Art Archive
Bradshaw Foundation
bradshaw foundation donate help
Mailing List

Email Sign-Up
website updates


First Name

Last Name


Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Bibliographic Database Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Privacy Policy Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Birnin Kudu Rock Art Center Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Baja California Film Coso Range Talking Stone Film Nevada Oregon Territory Moab, Utah Clovis First Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Avebury Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Introduction Peterborough Petroglyphs Western Canadian Rock Art Writing-On-Stone Wuikinuxv Territory Dinosaur Provincial Park Archive Index Huashan Rock Art Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Rouffignac Cave Portable Art Defining Rock Art Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Preservation & Education Dr. V. S. Wakankar Articles on India Rock Art Contemporary Art Sri Lanka Archive Index Rock Paintings & Engravings Sri Lanka Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Scandinavian Rock Art Archive Scandinavian Introduction Alta Rock Art Norway Rock Art in Finland Tanum Rock Art Sweden Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery A Cultural Memory Izzy Wisher Biography Deer-tooth necklace Cave Art Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Banksy Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation