Mongolia has been inhabited for over 800,000 years. Important prehistoric sites are the paleolithic cave drawings of the Khoid Tsenkheriin Agui (Northern Cave of Blue) in Khovd Province, and the Tsagaan Agui (White Cave) in Bayankhongor Province. A neolithic farming settlement has been found in Dornod Province. Contemporary findings from western Mongolia include only temporary encampments of hunters and fishers. The population during the Copper Age has been described as paleomongolid in the east of what is now Mongolia, and as europid in the west.
In the second millennium B.C, during the bronze age, western Mongolia was under the influence of the Karasuk culture. Deer stones and the omnipresent keregsürens (small kurgans) probably are from this era; other theories date the deer stones as 7th or 8th centuries BCE. A vast iron-age burial complex from the 5th-3rd century, later also used by the Xiongnu, has been unearthed near Ulaangom.