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Home » Lebap Region nature. Unique sights nature of the mountains Kugintau.

Khojapil plateau.

A walk to  Khodjapil wildlife sanctuary.

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery”

 Anaïs Nin.

A trip from village of Koytyn to plateau of Khojapil.

The word "Khojapil" (Khojapil) can be translated as "Elephants of the Holy" or "Master-elephant". Although one of the legends say the name of the  person who discovered these traces was KhojaAmong the local population there are beliefs and legends about elephants that were here along with a wandering pilgrim from India, or about the elephants of Alexander the Great, who left traces there during his campaign. However, some paleontologists believe that 60 - 80 thousand years ago there really lived elephants and rhinoceroses.
Moreover, in ancient times, bones of ancient elephants were found in Turkmenistan -  in 1943 and 1952 near the village of Khudai-Dag  the remains of a fossil elephant;  in 1989 in the region of Zeyd (presently  "Named after the XVth anniversary of independence of Turkmenistan") a bone of the  paleoloxodontic elephant.
The most important paleontological object of world significance in Western Kugitang is the widely known plateau of dinosaurs with imprints of ancient giants. The Imprints are about 160 million years old. This small inclined plateau, about 500 by 200 m in size, is located in the Khojipil state reserve at an altitude of about 1400 m, not far from the village of Khodjapil-ata.
The dimensions of the traces are different - from 18 to 71 cm. The largest trace could belong to the megalosaurus. In total more than 2500 traces were found on such  areas as Central Khojapil Square, Kirk-gyz, Sarygat, Sary-Gaya, Niyaz, Ak-Tapiz (Sagat) and others, with a total length of about 10 km. In general, the traces belong to two-footedl dinosaurs from the Archosaurs subclass.
But there are also three types of traces related to the new genus - Turkmenosavrus, Khodjapilozavrus, Gissarozavrus (enumeration in order of decreasing the size of prints and the length of the step). Another place with traces of dinosaurs was found in 2002 on the northeastern slope of Mount Gaurdak (Gaurdak ridge, Govurdaka dome) next to the sulfur quarry.
The age of these fossilized three-fingered tracks, according to scientists is 140-145 million years, the total number of traces is 114. There are also as yet undefined by the scientists, deep, absolutely round traces.
An interesting and very mysterious finding  was made in 1983 by the Turkmen scientist K.N. Amanniyazov, who among the traces of dinosaurs on the plateau of Khojapil, discovered six prints of a human foot, size 43, following one after another.
Dating of the prints done by Professor H. Khudaikuliev gave an unexpected result - 150 - 200 million years (Jurassic period). The press wrote about it. Unfortunately, the popularization of such discoveries does not always have a positive effect on the preservation of monuments.
After the publication, the flow of tourists increased, as a result, one of the tracks was ruined, it seems that someone of the tourists thought of splitting the best-preserved print and taking it with them. In 2000, Dr. Dennis Swift from the Dinosaur Institute was the first  foreigner to  investigate those tracks, in his honor  they were named "Traces of  Swift".
Another mystery is that on the same plateau there were tracks of  goats, exactly the same ones that live in the mountains of Kugitangtau (Koitandag). As a result, there is a destruction of the time scale and a contradiction with Darwin's theory of evolution in favor of creationism.
Scientists are arguing. In this context, the connection of the images of dragons in folk art and the artifacts associated with dinosaurs are of interest. There are many legends about dragons. In the tales of Central Asia dragons often appear. It's not a fact, for example, that people have never seen traces of dinosaurs before.
Our ancestors, could have found such traces long time ago, and possibly the  parts of skeletons. All this could be transmitted orally from generation to generation, thereby creating various legends.. And these are not just assumptions.

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