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Rock carvings discovered in Uzbekistan
Tuesday 24 September 2019

An article by Szymon Zdziebłowski on scienceinpoland.pap.pl - Uzbekistan/ Polish archaeologists discovered a rich cluster of rock carvings - reports on a team of archaeologists from Warsaw that has discovered a rich, previously unknown cluster of rock carvings in Uzbekistan. They believe there could be thousands of depictions of animals, mainly ibexes, and that the oldest carvings may be several thousand years old.

Uzbekistan Polish archaeologists rock carvings petroglyphs archaeology archaeologists
The mountain valley of Kyzyl Dara in Uzbekistan. An ibex petroglyph. Images: M. Leloch

Researchers from the University of Warsaw have been conducting research in the Chatkal Mountains in the northwest of Uzbekistan for several years, mainly focused on excavations. Traces of several camps dating from 40,000 years ago have been studied.

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The carvings were discovered on the slopes of the remote mountain valley Kyzyl Dara, at an altitude of 2500 to 3100 metres which according to Dr. Kot is one of the highest occurrences of this type with rock art in Uzbekistan. Rocks with carvings stretch over an area of several hundred meters.

Uzbekistan Polish archaeologists rock carvings petroglyphs archaeology archaeologists
Clusters of petroglyphs. Images: M. Leloch

Depictions of ibexes predominate among the carvings, based on the huge, curved horns of animals. Michał Leloch, a member of the research team, believes they depict Siberian ibexes which are the largest ibex species. Among the less numerous carvings are depictions interpreted as arches and other animal species such as deer, dogs and wolves. There are also motifs showing human hands, but slightly smaller than life size.

Further research on the extent and age of the petroglyphs is being planned.

click here to read more on the ibex motif in rock art
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