A sacred and mysterious site in Armenia- Lastiver caves
Lastiver caves of the Armenian Tavush province are located in a picturesque gorge, drowning in lush green dense forests, near the village of Yenokavan, 130 km away from Yerevan.
The main cave of Lastiver is located in a valley at an almost vertical slope. To climb into the cave, people were forced to build a particular ladder of logs, which resembled a raft (“last” in Armenian), then they had to pull it up with a rope while the lifter shouted, “Raft up!”. Hence, the name of the place – Lastiver in Armenian means “Up the raft.”
Since pre-Christian times the caves of Lastiver were a sacred place, to which testify the numerous samples of cave art. But in the Middle Ages, during the Tartar-Mongolian invasions ( 13-14th centuries), the caves of Lastiver served as a shelter for the village inhabitants.
The cave contains carvings representing figures and abstract patterns. Scholars assume some of those scenes illustrate a wedding. The majority of the reliefs belong to the pre-Christian period.