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Petroglyphs in Aravan Gorge.

In Kyrgyzstan Pamir Mountains Tours.

“Does progress mean that we dissolve our ancient myths? If we forget our legends, I fear that we shall close an important door to the imagination” 

James Christensen.

Trip to Pamir Mountains.

Petroglyphs in the Aravan Gorge the site is 12.5km north-east of Nookat City on the right bank of the Aravansay River, at the mouth of the valley. Geographic coordinates: NL 40 13 37.3, EL 43.4 72 31, altitude: 1,119m above sea level.
The site is notable for a considerable number of medieval Arabic and Sogdian inscriptions (13), which, along with petroglyphs (30), are within 2km of the riverbank. Basically, they are on the open rock surface, but also under overhangs.
Petroglyphs represent anthropomorphic (humans, archers-hunters and riders) and animal (mountain goats, horses, deer) images, geometrics and signs (solar, spectacle-shaped, swastika, cup-holes, unclosed circles, tamgas), musical instruments and inscriptions (Sogdian, Arabic script, modern Cyrillic).
Drawings were made in an exquisite and realistic manner, in addition to schematic drawings. No palimpsests exist; there are unfinished drawings, and, possibly, sketches; fully or partially refreshed images were found.
Sizes vary from 3 - 5cm to 15 - 18cm and only images of musical instruments and horses are represented close-up. Technique. The drawings were made using a coarse and fine pecking with a depth of 1 to 3-4mm.
Aravan Gorge petroglyphs are provisionally dated from the Bronze Age and Saki-Usun (Vth - Ist century BC) to the Late Middle Ages. One of the indisputable criteria for dating is horses identical to the “Davanian” horses at Ayrymach-Too (Surottuu-Tash) and Aravan Rock.
Condition and Protection. The site is on the “National List of Historical and Cultural Sites of National Significance”. Neither its boundaries nor protection zones have yet been established.

«Rock Art in Kyrgyzstan». Bakyt Amanbaeva, Aiday Suleymanova, Chynarbek Zholdoshev.

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.