Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape in Azerbaijan

Khursheed Dinshaw (India) Gobustan in Azerbaijan is an interesting site depicting prehistoric rock art. The petroglyphs here vary in age from the Upper Palaeolithic Era to the Middle Ages (Fig. 1). A UNESCO World Heritage Site, more than 6,000 images can be seen here (Figs. 2 to 9). The petroglyphs are carved on three mountains called Beyukdash, Djingirdag and Kichikdash, respectively. Fig. 1. Petroglyphs varying from Upper Palaeolithic Era to the Middle Ages. Fig. 2. Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape. There is also a museum where artefacts that have been excavated are exhibited (Figs. 10 to 14). The museum also provides information about the climate change periodization of Gobustan. About 21,000 years ago, juniper trees grew here. There is also a strong possibility of tugay forests in which wild cherries and pomegranates grew. (Tugay is a form of forest or woodland associated with fluvial and floodplain areas in arid climates.) Wild cherries and pomegranates grow in the region even today. Fig. 3. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Azerbaijan. Fig. 4. More than 6,000 images can be seen here. Credit for the discovery of the petroglyphs goes to Prof I M Jafarzade. He found them in the 1930s on the Djingirdag Mountain. Fig. 5. Visitors learning about petroglyphs. Fig. 6. Prof I M Jafarzade discovered the images on these rocks. Most of the petroglyphs of Gobustan have been made by engraving an image contour on the rocks. On the Beyukdash Mountain, on rock No 67, there are a total of … Read More

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