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Gobustan Petroglyphs (Qobustan
Gobustan Petroglyphs are located
40 mi (64 km) Southwest of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. Its
name "Gobustan" is derived from the Turkic language. "Gobu" can be
translated as "dried broad riverbed", "gully" or "ravine", while
"stan" means "place".
Gobustan Petroglyphs State Historical-
Artistic Reserve is a mountainous region in Azerbaijan that is famous
for numerous rock paintings and rock art. It covers a total area of 540
hectares. Gobustan Petroglyphs were left by several generations of
people starting with prehistoric Paleolithic period to the Middle Ages.
Even ancient Roman legionnaires left their mark of the presence in
the region here. Although recently some modern retards decided to add their share of art
by drawing graffiti on some rocks. First archeological digs in Gobustan
began in the 1930's after Ishaq Jafarzadeh discovered over 3500
Petroglyphs in the area. He further found sights of human presence
including man made rock tools, burials and caves that were once
inhabited by an ancient man.
In 1965 new archeological expedition
to the Gobustan region discovered additional 300 examples of rock art,
20 ancient houses and at 40 different burials known as dolmens, huge
prehistoric megalithic structures. Ancient people buried
their dead under large artificial hills to mark the grave. In 2007
Gobustan Petroglyphs was designated as a site of UNESCO World Heritage
list. State Historical- Artistic Reserve
covers an extensive area, where people once lived and left their mark.
Additionally a museum was constructed and dedicated to prehistoric
people who once lived here.
Gobustan most visited site is the North- East slope
of Mount Dzhingirdag. Tourists flock here to see a stone Gavaldash.
It is famous for its unique feature, every time it is striken by a
stone it creates various harmonious sounds. The feature is owed due
to its position on an air cusion located below it. It is possible
that this rock was considered sacred in the ancient times so the
whole region of Gobustan might have been viewed as holy by the
ancient people. In addition to petroglyps discovered several ancient
sancuaries including "Sophia Novruz", "Gara atly", "Sophie Hamid"
and many others.