Between the villages of Azokh and Drakhtik of the Hadrut region of Artsakh is located the mysterious Azokh cave, which is also called Orvan, Orvan’s face. Azok Cave is geographically located in the natural corridor through which ancient people and animals migrated from Africa to Europe and Asia. It is one of the important archiological sites of the region, which will be used to study the movements of prehistoric people through the Armenian highlands. Now it is under the occupation of Azerbaijan. 


During the years of the Tatar-Mongol invasion, the owners of Amaras kept the precious treasures of the material culture of Artsakh in the Azokh cave. And Makar Epis. Barkhutareants, who mentions the cave at the end of the 19th century, states that he saw a statue of a woman made of stone here.

Raffi wrote in his famous book “Meliks of Khamsa” dedicated to the history of Karabakh Meliks. “The people of that kingdom dwelt among the mountains, deep in the caves, fed on the fruits of their forests, the good of their cattle, and as an ambush a beast made attacks from its hiding-place when the enemy dared to disturb its peace.”

The mysterious cave remained a mystery for centuries. AND only since the sixties of the last century, archaeologists began to study this cave.


Azok limestone cave has an area of ​​about 8000 square meters. The cave has many entrances and exits, has six halls that look like labyrinths. The largest of the halls has an area of ​​about 3000 square meters. During excavations in these halls, three hundred thousand year old stone tools, fossil remains of flora and fauna, traces of pre-human art, as well as production waste were discovered.

Animal remains found in the cave allow us to conclude that the first “inhabitants” of the cave were very diverse. Remains of animals whose breeds do not exist now have been found here. More than 20,000 bones of 43 different species of animals, as well as more than 6,000 stone tools and other items were found in the cave. A large fragment of a prehistoric man’s jaw and the remains of a medieval stone building were also found in the cave.

The article was compiled based on observations and materials collected by the ArmLand club.

Author of photos: Artyom Martirosyan