The Golden Hills – represents a Natural Monument of stratified rocks surrounding Valeni and the Beleu Lake and defended by the Moldovan Academy of Sciences .
The hills near the village of Văleni are a monument of great natural, geological and archaeological importance located in Cahul district, Republic of Moldova. It is located 0.5 km south of Văleni village and has an area of 3 ha. Of The Văleni Golden Hills are mainly unique due to its several stratigraphic level of rock stratification from the Pliocene and Pleistocene age.
The base of the stratigraphic section consists of deposits of rocks from the Lower Pliocene (MN 15 biozone; 4.8–3 million years ago). They are composed of 5-6 packs of alluvium belonging to the 7th terrace of the Prut. From these alluvial sediments were extracted skeletal remains of mammals reported to the Moldavian Fauna Complex, such as Proochotona eximia, Prolagomys gigas, Pliomys kowalski, Stephanorhinus megarhinus, Paracamelus alexejevi, Procapreolus cf. cusanus and others. Also here were found the shells of freshwater mollusks, including Margaritifera flabilatiformes and Potamida bogatschevi.
In the upper part of the Poratian deposits, the paleontologist K. I. Shuspanov discovered rodent teeth of the Haprovian faunal complex, more evolved than the Moldavian one, namely Villanya petenii, Pliomys kowalski, Dolomys milleri and others.
Above the Poratian alluvium, the are younger deposits with bones characteristic of the Tamanian Teriocomplex, attributed to the late Lower Pleistocene, namely jaw teeths of southern elephant Archidiskodon meridionalis tamanensis and horse Equus (Allohippus) sussenbornensis, and Allophaiomys pliocaenicus etc.).
Coarse gravel alluvium mixed with sand from the Middle Pleistocene is home to fragments and jaw bones of extinct species of Mammoths (Mammuthus trogontherii). Above, in the deluge clays of the Upper Pleistocene, a jaw bone and some bone fragments of the limbs belonging to the mammoth Mammuthus primigenius were found as well.