The palimpsest from tsagaan salaa sector IV (Mongolian Altai): Relative chronology of images

V. Molodin, L. Zotkina, C. Cretin, D. Cheremisin, N. Batbold, D. Tseveendorj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of palimpsests is an important area in research of rock art as it provides a possibility for obtaining information on relative dating of overlying images. In some cases, it is possible to date entire stylistical traditions which evolved in a certain area. The palimpsest from Tsagaan Salaa Sector IV (Mongolian Altai) is one of the most sophisticated multi-figured compositions from a set of rock art locations known as Baga- Oigur and Tsagaan Salaa. The surface reveals figures attributed to different stylistical traditions. Our task was to reconstruct precisely the sequence of creating rock images of this palimpsest wherever practical. During this study we applied methods of trace wear and comparative stylistic analysis, and used the photogrammetry method for documenting purposes. The results of our observations were recorded with the help of a microscope in field conditions using the method of tracing images into a transparent film affixed on a rock. We succeeded in establishing the sequence of making the petroglyphs of the multi-figured composition at Tsagaan Salaa Sector IV. Internal relative chronology was established for overlying images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-150
Number of pages17
JournalКраткие сообщения Института археологии
Issue number260
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventInternational Conference on Signs and Images in the Stone Age Art - Moscow
Duration: 27 Nov 201929 Nov 2019


  • 3D
  • Mongolian Altai
  • Palimpsest
  • petroglyphs
  • Relative chronology
  • Trace wear analysis
  • Tsagaan Salaa Sector IV



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