|Location:||10 km northwest of Alihe Town, Hailaer, Oroqen Autonomous Banner, Hulunbair League.|
|Fee:||Adults CNY 20. |
|Dimension:||L=200 m, W=20 m. GH: L=92 m, W=28 m, H=20 m. P: W=19 m, H=12 m.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1980||first archaeological research by Prof. Mi Wenping.|
Gaxian Cave is located at the eastern foot of the Great Hinggan Mountains in the Da Xing'an Range. The southwest facing entrance is easily accessible from a small fluvial plain ten meters below. The portal is shaped like a triangle 12 m high and 19 m wide. Located in a 100-metre-high granite peak the huge chamber is 92 m long from south to north and 28 m wide, which sums to about 2,000 m². The ceiling is up to 22 m high. In the east wall is a side branch, starting 11 m above ground, which is 5 m wide and 10 m deep.
The cave is almost empty, but with a comfortable almost flat dirt floor, which makes it a good shelter an meeting place. In the middle of the chamber lies an irregular natural stone plate, about 3.5 m by 3 m, resembling a rock table. It is supported by a half metre high stone.
The cave has been occupied since Palaeolithic times. The first exploration was undertaken by Prof. Mi Wenping, a prominent specialist on Manchurian archaeology and history. He discovered an engraving at the west wall showing 19 lines and 201 characters, in a style typical for the Northern Wei empire (386-581). It was a passage from the Wei Shu, the dynastic history, telling about a mission sent by the Wei emperor to visit an ancestral temple in his tribal homeland, probably a reference that Gaxian Cave may have been this temple. It also contains a date, which equivalents the year 443.
Until now only very little arcjaeolig research has been made. There has been one excavation of a 1 m x 20 m trench by Prof. Mi and his team, which equals about 2% of the total floor area. But the results are impressive, a number of man-made objects which are today exhibited at the museum in Hailar, late Palaeolithic stone tools, Neolithic vessels and bone artifacts. There have been numerous palaeontolic remains, especially bones of wild mammals. Medieval and modern time artifacts have been discovered too.
Gaxian Cave is extraordinary, as no other comparable caves exist in the vicinity. The geology is not suitable for the formation of caves. Concerning the sources we have, we guess it is a tectonic cave, but we do not really know.