A cave is a hollow place in the subsurface rock. They are generated by a number of reasons. Some rocks such as limestone, gypsum and rock salt are dissolved and washed out by water, which results in a hollow. Gradually it gets bigger and the cavern is formed with the depth and length smaller than the height. The cavern is then gets longer and gradually transforms into a cave.
The hollows are also formed due to the volcano eruption. The biggest volcanic cave is the Cueva de Los Verdes that resides in Lanzarote, which is one of the Canary Islands.
The hollows in the sea cliffs are generated by the tidal bore. You can often come across such caves at the coastlines, the places where the cliffs are too close to the coast and go under the water.
At various times people worshipped different gods in the caves all over the globe. The scholars found different sanctuaries from the Stone Age period in the most inaccessible parts of the caves around Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Later on the Christian heremeits entered the caves to pray for forgiveness before God.
In the Far East, in Primorski Krai, at the Zmeina Mountain slope the so-called “Sleeping Beauty” cave has been discovered. There is a sculpture of a sleeping girl right in the center of the cave that was made of stalagmite by ancient idolaters. You can only catch the cave with your eye when you stand close by it. The narrow entrance enlarges into a high and wide corridor after a few meters and leads to the spacious, cold domed-ceiling hall with a dry loamy floor. You can find many calcite incrustations on the walls and fancy stalactite hanging down from the top. The narrow passage at the back of the hall leads to another smaller hall with the young woman’s face carved out of the calcite encrustation on the wall.
The Far Eastern archeologists found out that this manmade monument dates back to XII century. The picture on the cave wall belongs to the ancestors of the present-day Udegei, Nanais and Orochis that inhabit the territory of Primorye. The Sleeping Beauty is believed to be the image of the Buddhist charity and childbearing goddess, whose name is Avalokitesvara.
In the lonely woods of Ural and along the course of the Pechora River archeologists can still find the caves, which served as a place for making sacrifices in the last centuries. The legend about one of the most isolated caves known as “Dyrovatiy Stone” located at the Chusovaya River in Ural tells that every hunter had to make a sacrifice to the cave ghosts, which included bolting an arrow staying outside. When the speleologists visited the cave they found more than 8000 arrowheads, Iranian coin of the VI century and a thin silver disc with a hole on the edge of it. This means that the legend turned out to be a true story.
Having inspected the arrowheads the archeologists made a conclusion that they had been collected in the cave throughout 4000 years from the Bronze Age and almost reached today’s time.
The aged long-bearded people that gather at the mosque tell the legend about one of the caves in Kirghizia, which is known as Chil-Ustun. There was an old white div (a spirit) living in the cave and was killed in a sharp battle with the great Caliph Ali. To commemorate this event, there was a painting made on the cliff near the cave, which showed a horse and a colt.
The scientists who studied the painting have affirmed the fact that it was made around 2000 years ago.