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Rock drawing of Juan-juan warrior (?)
Found at Salkhitiyn Shuuduun Zost, near Tsambagarav Uul
5th - early 6th century

Photograph copyright © Don Croner, 2002

There is still some debate regarding the identity of the culture responsible for these striking drawings. Part of the difficulty in dating these drawings is the fact that Salkhitiyn Shuuduun Zost, a site in Mongolia, has been a popular location for petroglyph creation ever since the Neolithic period (see alternate view), and there are many places where the drawings have overlapped, faded or been altered.

Scholarly consensus originally dated these horsemen to sometime in the 6th - 7th centuries CE, a time corresponding to the period of Tujue control of the Mongolian steppes. In 1990 this date was reappraised when similarities were pointed out between the armor depicted on these horsemen and that known to have been worn by the Juan-juan. Though no firm consensus has been reached, today the rock drawings are generally dated to the 5th - early 6th century and credited to the Juan-juan.