Игнатьевская пещера

Ignateva Pestera - Ignateva Cave - Ignatievka Cave - Ignatievskaya Cave - Yamazy-Tash

Useful Information

Location: Near Serpijevka.
M4 15 km east of Sim, turn south to Aratskoe, before town right and again right, single lane road to the cave. First part paved, later gravel.
(54.899599, 57.781092)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Yuri Dublyansky, Vladimir Shirokov, Gina E. Moseley, Pavel A. Kosintsev, R. Lawrence Edwards, Christoph Spötl (2021):
230 Th dating of flowstone from Ignatievskaya Cave, Russia: Age constraints of rock art and paleoclimate inferences
Geoarchaeology. 36 (3) May 2021: 532–545. ISSN 0883-6353. PMC 8048586. PMID 33883826. DOI
Karen L Steelman, Marvin Rowe, V. Shirokov, J. Southon (2002):
Radiocarbon dates for pictographs in Ignatievskaya Cave, Russia: Holocene age for supposed Pleistocene fauna
Antiquity Vol 76:292, 2002 pp 341-348. DOI pdf
Address: Ignateva Pestera.
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 discovery of a venus figurine.


Ignateva Pestera is an archaeological site located on the banks of the Sim River, a tributary of the Belaya river in the southern Ural mountains. It became internationally know because in 1980 one of the few female figurines was discovered here during an excavation. The specialty of this figurine are twenty-eight red dots between her legs, which are believed to represent the female menstrual cycle.

The excavations revealed numerous findings, including microliths and palaeontologic remains from the late Upper Palaeolithic. An upper layer contained Iron Age remains. More impressive are various cave paintings showing abstract forms. The paintings were originally dated to the Upper Paleolithic by their style, but radiocarbon dating of the pigments gave an age of 6,000 and 8,000 BP, which is Neolithic.

The cave is open and may be freely visited. The cave portal is about 18 m above the small river, a stone staircase and a metal staircase allow easy access. The inner gallery is gated by an iron door. To enter this part also requires crawling, as the cave ceiling lowers to 1 m for a few meters.

At one place a rather dull piece of wall with grey patches and some bumps, there is not even flowstone involved, resembles vaguely an image of Virgin Mary. The image of the Mother of God not made by hands became a sort of pilgrim site and people put candles on the ledge below the image and pray.