By Leman Mammadova
Gobustan Reserve is one of the most visited tourist places in Azerbaijan. Every year thousands of foreign guests are being fascinated by the enigmatic monuments of Gobustan, that are the pearls of our ancient history.
Over 123,000 tourists from more than 20 countries visited the Gobustan State Historical and Artistic Reserve in 2018, Trend reports referring to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on January 10.
The director of the reserve Vugar Isayev said that last year the number of visitors increased by 40,000 people (about 50 percent) compared to 2017, and foreign citizens made up 58,000 out of 123,000 visitors.
Foreign tourists mainly arrived from Turkey, Iran, Russia, Germany, Great Britain, Pakistan, China, U.S., Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Arab countries. Tourists from the island of Fiji and the Dominican Republic also visited the reserve.
Over 80,000 tourists visited the reserve in 2017.
Gobustan State Historical and Artistic Reserve, the complex of archaeological monuments in the territory of Azerbaijan, is located 56 km from the capital, Baku, in Garadagh district. There is also a museum here. More than 6,000 images and rock paintings have been recorded in the area. Monuments of the Mesolithic (medieval stone) are mainly represented in the reserve.
Gobustan State Historical and Artistic Reserve was proclaimed in 1966, envisaging the exceptional importance of the material cultural remains found in Gobustan for history and culture. Human and animal paintings preserved in the Gobustan allow exploring the animals and the way they are hunted by the ancient people based on hunting, fighting and dance scenes depicted on the rocks.
The Gobustan Reserve, a world historical monument with an area of over 4,000 hectares, was included in the UNESCO list of cultural heritage in 2007.
The monuments of Gobustan are divided into two groups: rock paintings and ancient sites and other objects.
The first archaeological excavations on the territory of the reserve began in the 1930s. In 1939-1940, Azerbaijani archaeologist Iskhak Jafarzade discovered here about 3,500 rock paintings, drawings and signs, as well as man-made pits, holes in rocks, etc. Since 1965, a special scientific expedition has been engaged in investigating the monuments of Gobustan. Archaeological research of more than 20 dwellings and shelters, more than 40 burial mounds was carried out.
Gobustan is a real open-air museum. Every year this amazing art gallery is visited by thousands of people from all over the world.
Since the discovery, being at the center of attention of researchers, Gobustan rock paintings are a very interesting part of Azerbaijani history. More than 4-5,000 animals, human pictures, scenes drawn on rocks by generations coming one after another for thousands of years are the creativity of an ancient art school.
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