Talking Stone Rock Art Coso America USA Documentary Film

Latest News


Rock Art Discoveries in the Gobi Desert
2012 Jan 03


John Hare, Founder, Wild Camel Protection Foundation.

In April/May 2011, on an expedition in the Taklamakan desert in the Xinjiang Province of China researching the habitat of the critically endangered wild camel, our team found interesting examples of rock art.

The Taklamakan is one of the largest deserts in the world and in addition is a desert harbouring a most formidable range of sand dunes. Yet in this desert there are found the remains of ancient cities which served the Middle Silk Road, some still buried beneath the sands. The key oases towns watered by rainfall from the mountains which ring the southern and eastern sides of the desert are Kashgar, Niya, Ruoquan (Charklich), Yarkand, and Khotan (Hetian). It was near Ruoquan (Charklich) we discovered the rock art.

The archeological treasures found in the Taklamakan's sand-buried ruins point to Tocharian , early Hellenistic, Indian, Tibetan, and Buddhist influences. Its treasures and dangers have been vividly described by explorers and archaeologists such as Aurel Stein and Sven Hedin. Mummies, some 4000 years old, have been found in the region. They show a wide range of peoples who have settled there. In the Tang Dynasty, the Chinese periodically extended their influence to the oases cities of the Taklamakan in order to control the important middle silk road which led from Dun Huang in the east to Kashgar in the west. The present population in these oases towns consist largely of Turkic Uyghur people, so with so many varied influences, the origin and date of this particular discovery of rock art is difficult to pinpoint.

The Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF) has helped the Chinese establish a Nature Reserve to the east of the Taklamakan which, at 155,000 square kilometers is one of the largest nature reserves in the world. This reserve protects the critically endangered wild camel which numbers no more that 600 in China.

In Mongolia the WCPF has established the only wild camel breeding centre in the world. There are approximately 450 wild camels in Mongolia but they struggle hard against wolves and in particular miners as illegal mining has rapidly become a national pastime in Mongolia and unfortunately gold deposits have been found in the Mongolian wild camel reserve. While on an expedition in Mongolia in the 1990's we found a further example of rock art depicting a wild camel and a snow leopard. The rock on which they had been carved had fallen down from the side of a large mountain and the images seemed to have been carved at a considerable height.

The WCPF - a charitable foundation registered with the UK Charity Commissioners - is the only organisation in the world solely dedicated to protecting the critically endangered wild camel from extinction. This double-humped camel was recognised in 2008 as a NEW and totally SEPARATE species.

For the Wild Camel Protection Foundation website click here

For John Hare's website click here

Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us News Articles Twitter Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Coso Range Nevada Oregon Territory Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Portable Art Research Paper Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Tanum Rock Art Museum Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes List of Research Papers Other Websites Contact the Foundation