Azokh Cave is a six-cave complex known as a living site of stone-age man. Azokh Cave is located at the village Azokh. Discovered in 1960 it is considered to be the site of one of the most ancient proto-human habitations in Eurasia.
A Neanderthal-style jaw bone found in 1968 is thought to be over 300,000 years old and thus one of the oldest proto-human remains found in this part of the world. Before that the remains of Neanderthal man were discovered in four regions: in Sidi-Abd Eragman (Marocco), in Steinheim (Germany), Spanocombe (England) and Sediadelle Diabolon (Italy).The discovered jaw of the Neanderthal man in Azokh Cave got the 5th number.
The items and materials found in the azokh paleolith cave are of special interest. Moreover, the famous French archeologist, Anri de Ljumleyn, believes that the different items found in Azokh enable us to confirm that here was a “seat of ancient human civilization and that the mountainous land was also involved in the process of homo-sapiens formation”.
Today the excavation have being carried out by archeologists from England, Spain and their Armenian colleagues. Geographically The Cave is situated in a natural corridor through which early humans and other animals may have migrated from Africa into Europe and Asia. It is known that Africa is the place in which early humans evolved and it is known that the Caucasus were first colonized by humans as early as 1.8 million years ago.
The Azokh Cave mandible comes from the time period that records the transitions between different species of early human - between Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis, and between Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens.
According to last archeological excavations the last discoveries in the Caucasus indicate that early humans occupied this area over a period of nearly two million years. Archaeologists have suggested that the finds in the lowest layers of the Azokh cave are of a pre-Acheulean culture, one of the world's oldest (730,000-1,500,000 years) and in many ways similar to the Olduwan culture in Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge and the culture which produced the famous Lascaux cave in southeastern France.
The poor quality of the 1960s excavations led to uncertainty over the chronological position of the layers.
Excavations resumed in the mid of 1990s. In 2002 an international research team headed by Tanya King discovered undisturbed entrances to the cave as well as fauna and stone tools. The cave is now considered to have housed some of the earliest habitats of proto-humans in Eurasia. While little in the way of human remains have been discovered, evidence shows that the area was occupied by hominids over a period of nearly two million years.
From 2014 at the site of Azokh Cave is functioning a state conservational reserve.
16:09 July 21, 2015