Catching the touchable history
Qobustan is best known for being the home to the famous rock petroglyphs and mud volcanoes.
The area has been settled since the 8th millennium BC. It is known for hosting thousands of rock engravings spread over 100 square km depicting hunting scenes, people, ships, constellations and animals. Its oldest petroglyphs date from the 12th century BC. In 2007, UNESCO included the Qobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape’ in the World Heritage list.The Gobustan State Reserve was featured during the Thirty-third Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers
There are a lot of rocky mountains, they are changeable in shape as well as colourful. Every person will have different notions even about the same view.So here we have some persons from a different country will have different thoughts about the amazing view in Qobustan.
Darya, from Russia:
Our steps walked among the rocks, we touched history with our hands. Our eyes stared at the images which are more than 15 thousand years old…We found ourselves in the ancient cave and the time turned back.
We raised our eyes to the rocks and saw the images of animals, people, dancing in the round in a ritual dance and understood the historical importance of this place.
In Qobustan you can see “petroglyphs”, it is graphic paintings on the stones. Most of them depict primitive men, animals, battle-pieces, ritual dances, bullfights, boats with armed oarsmen, warriors with lances in their hands, camel caravans, pictures of sun and stars. All of these petroglyphs had a special meaning to ancient people. People believed if you would scratch the image of goat, gazelle, deer, fox or other animals the hunting must be good. And also there are several techniques of the image with which I was able to meet. A simpler type of picture is the image of the contours of the object. The more difficult one is the image that represents not only the contour but the space inside is also scraped.
We turned our way to see the panorama view from the cliff. The sun was shining very beautiful. I was feeling myself in harmony with each other and this place. But suddenly my leg felled into the deepening with water.
On the cliff in Qobustan was located kitchen in ancient times. There were deepenings with water. When the animals came here for drinking people were hunting them. And also this place was used for praying. When the weather was hot and dry. People were asking Gods to give them rain. They sacrifice here goats or other animals.
Sadef, from China:
As an old saying goes in China: Practice is the sole criterion for testing truth. We always think that if you want to learn something there is only one way —- face to it and fell it yourselves. Only when I arrived Qobustan can I find how amazing this touchable history can be.
This is the paradise of imagination. Here you can use your imagination as you like. Actually, we have seen a strange rock, then our guide let us guess what this rock looks like. Here comes a lot of answers and the hottest answer is it looks like a lion’s head. Afterword, we climbed up this rock and took photos.
I have to say that in China precious historical relics like this will be protected very well. There are always transparent protective covers on the relics. So it was impossible for us to touch and feel the historic relics. It’s really a pity. But we have no choice they are too precious to us without protections we are afraid of losing it. But in Qobustan the situation been totally different. It inspires people to close contact with history and supports people using imagination to create the history. This is really effective and interesting way to let people learn and remember the history.
Heritage and protection are equally important to history. So it is hard to compare the way between the two countries and impossible to say who is wrong. We can only say that the two approaches are different but are all the best.
Omar, from Bahrain:
For us it won’t be easy to do it independently and having a bus is the best option for our group members. So we went to Qobustan by bus. The sign to Gobustan is well marked but the place is not near the main road and it will take from us probably 30-45 min walking to get there.
This primitive art in Qobustan landscape displays the culture, economy, outlooks, customs and traditions of ancient people.
Also, the drawings clearly reflect the entire evolution of humans. There are the scenes of mountain goat hunt, ceremonial dances with spears – the most ancient period of time, mesolite. We see the amazing images of horse and unmounted hunting, battles, collective work and harvesting.
Rock drawings perpetuated the figures of the animals which lived there for the last 10 thousand years – goitered gazelles, wild goats, deer, wild boars, horses, lions, etc. There are also beautiful images of birds, fishes, snakes, lizards and insects.
There is also a small museum that explains the area and then takes a walking tour in the area. This museum combines modern science and technology with ancient civilization. It shows more clearly about the lifestyle of the ancient people. It’s really an efficient way to help us learn and remember the history. It’s our amazing trip to Qobustan.