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Rock Art Eshkiolmes of Sakae Time.

Ancient Petroglyphs tours in Kazakhstan.

“ seemed a part of her life, to step from the ancient to the modern, back and forth. She felt rather sorry for those who knew only one and not the other. It was better, she thought, to be able to select from the whole menu of human achievements than to be bound within one narrow range” 

Orson Scott Card.

Welcome to Petroglyphs in Kazakhhstan.

Not very expressive and rough pictures from different regions of Kazakhstan were referred to sakae pictures during many years, and only S.S.Chernikov, at the end of 40-es defined a small group of sakae petroglyphs in the east Kazakhstan and could approve the offered dating.
In after war years the essential part of Tamgaly petroglyphs was referred to Sakae ones. The authors of works followed the general imagination that south of Kazakhstan and Semirechie were occupied and compactly and developed only in the epoch of early iron and not earlier.
Further, when the numerous monuments of bronze epoch in a region had been found, the points of view were reconsidered. In the seventieth years the first division into periods of Kazakhstan petroglyphs was worked out.
Already from the middle of the eighties years, with the discovery of petroglyphs in Koksu river valley it became clear, that rock art of sakae tribes is presented more completely in Koksu river valley, particularly, Eshkiolmes mountains.
This is the biggest concentration of petroglyphs in Kazakhstan, the pictures of sakae time amount here about 35%. Here, on the tops of hills are discovered the most expressive subjects of early iron epoch, made in «animal» style. In the rocks of Eshkiolmes are presented the main images scythian-sakae art, known in other regions in petroglyphs and monuments of applied art.
These pictures present themselves known and easily recognizable images and it seems that it is not difficult to separate them from the total mass. But many scenes had been renewed and partially completed in the ancient Turkic time by the artists of other epoch and the task is becoming more difficult.
Many masterly made gravings were included into the content of big compositions, sometimes of another epoch, what makes it difficult to define the 'chronology of all multi figurative scenes.
Not small quantity of scenes of the transitional time from the epoch of bronze to early iron , where are seen pedestrians with archaic weapons, made in a traditional manner, characteristic for bronze epoch, and at the same time the figures of animals in «animal» style are situated near them.
For the researchers the rock art in Koksu river valley appeared interesting and unique material to understand the main stages of its evolution and sources. As in the epoch of bronze, sakae masters  used different methods: cutting, cutting with polishing, cutting of animals corps in combination with carving, where small details were made in the technique «graffiti», carving on stone also was used often.
Combination of different methods in comparatively short period of time let to conclude that all these technical methods existed in the epoch of bronze as well as in the epoch of early iron in one and the same time.
The figures of animals of so-called arjan-maiemir stage (VIII - VII c.c. B.C) are also met. To the number of the most early pictures of this epoch can be referred some figures of deers, known by the burial mound Arjan, pictures of bulls with twisted into rings horns, extremely schematic pictures of chariots made in carving and carved on stone.
But taking into account unessential quantity of such subjects, it is not possibIe to concludeon forming of «animal» style in the epoch of final bronze. Apparently that in Semirechie this style was formed a little later, already in the epoch ofearly iron.
The interesting conclusions are made by V.A.Korenyako. He considers that images of animals known in the life of nomads found their imagination in the applied art among the elite environmenl during the comparatively short period.
Hunting, which almost lost its economical importance, but continued to play the important role in the preparance of warriors promoted the appearance of zoomorphic images. The cattle hunting's, by his point of view were accompanied by capture of alive animals became the basis of conditional images for nomads.
The scenes of following animals and hunting are the main subject line in the petroglyphs of the late bronze epoch in Eshkiolmes. But in the rock art of namely this region are often met the images, which is difficult to explain only by simple knowledge of animal world: in the canuon No.20 are found the figures of camels with crossed legs and among them is the figure of camel-deer in the same pose.
The world of nomads images, apparently, was essentially wider. V.A.Korenyako, referring to K letmara, writes that items of this style were not «so magic pictures of X trophies, but the emblems of belonging to the definite social group, class, layer.
Many of images in Koksu petroglyphs presents themselves really the emblems. Such are figures of eagles from the canyon No.10. the ancient artist pictured not only the really existed bird-predator, but the emblem known to him by the applied art.
But it is necessary to note that in the zoomorphic images could be presented also the magic amulets and mythological personages, and the tribal groups of nomads. The stylized picture of animal could be the symbol and magic sign of totem-protector and patron of clan.
Despite of the fact that in «animal» style the circle of subjects is extremely limited, the specific features and peculiarities can be observed in each region. So, in the applied art of Semirechie sakaes they are the images of wild ram and snow leopard, in the petroglyphs of Koksu they are wild ram and deer.
The rapid spread of «animal» style, obviously, was promoted by the transaction to the nomadic economy, assimilation of horse for riding, active way of population's life, important changes in economics and ideology and strengthened cult of warrior.
The essential role in the rapid transference of animal style' art from the elite into mass, probably, played the essential change of social relations: break-up of territorial community, increase of man's role in the social and family relations.
The brightest images of sakae art were pictured not only in petroglyphs, but also in the applied art of Semirechie, known by the materials of excavations of elite «tsar» burial mounds of sakaes.

Eshkiolmes of Sakae Time petroglyphs.Eshkiolmes of Sakae Time petroglyphs.Eshkiolmes of Sakae Time petroglyphs.Eshkiolmes of Sakae Time petroglyphs.Eshkiolmes of Sakae Time petroglyphs.Eshkiolmes of Sakae Time petroglyphs.

 «Petroglyphs in Eshkiolmes mountains».K.M. Baipakov,A.N. Maryayshev, S. A Potapov, А.А.Gorychev.Almaty. 2005.

Alexaander Petrov.