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Petroglyphs of Akdzhilga.

To see these Tajikistan petroglyphs.

“The distance of time’s separation brings us remnants of memories so ancient that most are lost in the mists of illusion…” 

A.J. Vosse.

Private Tours to of Akdzhilga Petroglyphs.

Petroglyphs of Akdzhilga the site is in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, in the Murgab District, 100km north-east of the district capital –Murgab settlement on the southern slope of Bazar Dara (North Alichur) Range, not far from the Akdzhilga pass at an altitude of 3,800m.
The Ak-Dzhilga petroglyphs are among the highest in Central Asia. The highest peaks of Pamir, also referred to as “Roof of the World”, Ismoili Somoni (7,495m), and Revolutsiya Peak (6,974m) are located 90-140km farther east.
At the end of the 1960’s, geologist Bulin V.P. discovered petroglyphs in an area difficult to access on the Severnaya Akdzhilga River. They significantly differ from the ones known in Pamir. In 1972, archeologists Zhukov V.A. and Ranov V.A., with a small group of colleagues (a photographer and an artist) recorded this unique concentration of rock art.
A special summary article by Zhukov and Ranov on the Akdzhilga petroglyphs was published in the same year. The Main Substrate of Rock Art the petroglyphs are engraved on the surface of a solitary flattened rock (shale) (23.6 x 19m), located on the right bank of the valley at a height of 25m above the river.
The wind has given a mirror-like polish to the black surface of the rock; images take up almost one-fourth of the surface. The slab stands out in the environment among the chaos of numerous morainic rock fragments. Technique Akdzhilga petroglyphs were made with a technique unusual for Pamir.
An outline was initially incised on the surface with a sharp tool, then it was shaded inside with carved lines and then additionally abraded. The lines of the drawing are shallow and practically the same color as the rock surface.
Pecking techniques were only used for several petroglyphs obviously dated to later periods. Description of the Site There are a total of 100 petroglyphs on the rock surface. There also are isolated images and panels. The drawings are grouped in several places of the rock.
Most of them are in its southeastern sector including its inclined part. There, the drawings form a palimpsest that allows us to determine a relative age for the figures. Particularly, large animals are overlaid by images of wild goat hunting scenes.
Figures of goats walking one after another in the central part of the slab are one of the most exquisite and stand out for their excellent execution. In the northeastern part of the slab, an isolated archer wears a peaked head-dress; the arrowhead shape is conspicuous.
A panel located in the north-western part of the rock is the most interesting, with several chariots (one with a driver) and oxen carved in a unique stylistic manner unusual for Pamir. Most Akdzhilga drawings are carved in outline, with the entire surface of the figure filled with dots or dense lines.
The earliest group of Akdzhilga petroglyphs, with chariots and oxen, can confidently be dated to the Bronze Age. An archer in a peaked hat and a series of wild goats may be dated to the Early Iron Age. There are also sketchy images of animals from later periods and modern inscriptions.

Bobomullo S. Bobomulloev.

Photos by
Surat Toymasov.