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Ancient Petroglyphs in Kalbajar

Study of the petroglyphs revealed in the territory of the mountain Kalbajar Region, in the upper River Tartar, was first initiated in 1976. This region of Azerbaijan is made up of Quaternary lava which surface is covered by subalpine and alpine meadows as well as by chingils (shingle) formed as a result of weathering of igneous rocks. Ancient images were discovered on the surface of these stones and rocks. They were found at three rock-art sites: on the banks of the mountain Lakes Zalkhagol, Alagol and in the area of Takhta. There are a great number of various subject matter petroglyphs in these places. Most of such images are to be found in the basin of Lake Alagol, at a height of about 3 000 m. Among discovered images are more than 700 rock engravings depicting different scenes from everyday life of ancient people inhabited this area. Numerous depictions of wild animals – panthers, deer, Caucasian goats, bezoar goats, wolves, etc. are also presented here. There are interesting topical petroglyphs depicting ritual dances, deer hunting, as well as images of wheeled carts with yoked oxen. As a rule, these images are predominately line-drawings or outlined figures depicted in profile and executed with stone tools. Depictions of human beings and different animals, particularly panthers, are silhouette carved petroglyphs.

Due to their characteristic features and execution techniques, the rock carvings found in Kalbajar Region can be dated back to the Bronze Age or to the 3rd-2nd millennium BC.

  1. Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Garabakh: The Eternal Memory of Azerbaijan Heritage, (2008), p. 143.

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