The Journal  of  Human Sciences

2001, Vollume 1, Issue 1 pp. 68-72

Maia Izoria

The late Paleolithic graphic images from Agtsa  cave


     There is no research about the late Paleolithic graphic images from Agtsa cave, except for one article, published by the archeologist V. Soloviov, the discoverer of the cave.
The Agtsa cave is located in 8 km from Akhali Athoni, the township Anukhva, in Abkhazia. There are pictures scribbled on the walls of the cave, situated on  inaccessible rock. These pictures fit in to three chronological periods. On the left side of the entrance, on the south wall, there are images of the late Paleolithic period. They are kept on the lowest level of the wall, dispersed like a strap. The plane is covered with a multitude of lines and dashes. On that plane a figure, branching off the vertical axis, is expressly carved. The geometric combinations, made by unpractised hands, are distinctive for different countries - central Europe, Africa, etc. The closest parallels are the graphic figures of Mgvimevi near the Chiatura, in the Imereti region.
     According to ethnographical data these figures express the cosmogony of ancient people. They are related to the vital elements of the universe, with the sun, fire, earth, and water. It appears that these elements were the objects of  magic observances taking place in this cave. In Agtsa the sacred concepts are expressed specifically by the conventional signs of the sunray, rain and vegetal motif. The vegetal motif is most remarkable and is considered as an early form of the tree of life.
By its style of execution and technique Agtsa is a typical sample of the late Paleolithic period. It extends the research area from the point of view of exploring  pictures scribbled on rock.