Tamgaly Petroglyphs

There are about fifty рlасes in Zhetysu where you can find rock drawings, or petroglyphs, most dating back to the Bronze Age. The best known petroglyphs are at Tamgaly, the Koksu river valley and the Sholak, Kindyk-Tas and Anrakhai mountains. Near the ancient drawings are archaeological finds such as settlements, burial grounds, religious structures and altars. In the late 1950s а unique sanctuary with rock drawings was found at Tamgaly in the Anrakhai mountains. Tamgaly is truly a gallery of ancient art. It reflects several periods of history, possibly more than twenty centuries. Over 4000 drawings have been discovered, dating back to the Bronze Age, the early nomadic era and the Turkic period. There are low slate cliffs on both sides of the gorge, and these sheer, flat surfaces are decorated with individual animals and entire scenes, carved with а metal chisel. The petroglyphs include both single and group images of mountain sheep, goats, Przhevalskys horses, deer, au-rochs and steppe antelope, as well as domestic animals-camels, horses, bulls, dogs. There are sun-headed gods; scenes depicting hunting, religious rituals and animal sacrifices; compositions of people and animals, female forms, archers and so on; prayer inscriptions; and images of discs, chariots and tamgas.


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