By Laman Ismayilova
Settled since the 8th millennium BC, Gobustan State Historical Reserve never ceases to amaze everyone with 600,000 petroglyphs.
Gobustan is considered one of the most unique places both in terms of the number and preservation of such images, and in terms of the coverage of such a large historical period.
People have settled in these territories many centuries ago. The natural conditions were completely different 20-25 thousand years ago.
Gobustan rock carvings were discovered in 1939 at the foot of the mountain Djingirdagh and on the top of Yazili Tepe.
The rock engravings 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.
Here a woman is meant as a symbol of goodness and well-being, as a continuer of the family. Apparently, primitive man also considered mother to be an irreplaceable creature, a true Goddess.
Men are depicted in hunting attire - with bows and arrows. They are tall, with slender bodies and big muscles.
These unique petroglyphs were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2007.
Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) was amazed by Gobustan rock art and believed that local boats petroglyphs as the oldest known images of pirogue in the world.
These vessels, similar to the old Scandinavian ships, prompted him to make sensational hypotheses about the connection between Norwegians and Azerbaijanis.
The anthropologist believed that ancestors of the Scandinavians were the migrants from Azerbaijan.
There is also a musical gemstone in Gabala, known as Gaval Dash. It makes a tambourine-like sound when it is hit in different points.
Many Azerbaijani musicians have used Gaval Dash in their performances. The musical stone and the Yallı chain-dance was also featured in the interval act of the semi-final of Eurovision Song Contest 2012 held in Baku.
Now Gobustan is a real open-air museum that acquired national status in 2006.
The main purpose of the Reserve is to protect ancient rock carvings, burial mounds.
Thousands of people from all over the world visit this amazing art open-air gallery every year.
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