Gobustan State Reserve re-opens

22 May 2020 10:40 (UTC+04:00)

By Laman Ismayilova

Gobustan State Historical Reserve has re-opened its doors to visitors. The activity of the Gobustan State Historical and Artistic Reserve was resumed in accordance with the decision of the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers on easing the quarantine regime. 

The reserve can be visited in groups of no more than 10 people, taking into account social distance and sanitary and epidemiological rules.

Settled since the 8th millennium BC, Gobustan State Historical Reserve is home to over 600,000 pethroglyphs.

These stone and iron-age figures carved thousands of years ago and now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gobustan rock carvings were discovered in 1939 at the foot of the mountain Djingirdagh and on the top of Yazili Tepe.

Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) was fascinated by Gobustan rock art. He recognized 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 hypothesis statement about the connection between Norwegians and Azerbaijanis.

Thor Heyerdahl concluded that the ancestors of the Scandinavians were the migrants from Azerbaijan.

Most of 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.

Apart from petroglyphs, there is also this musical gemstone known as Gaval Dash. It makes a tambourine-like sound when it is hit in different points.

Another interesting touristic spot is a stone slab with a Latin inscription dating to the first century. The stone lab was left here by the 12th Roman legion of the Emperor Domitian, which indicates that that legion had stayed there.

Now Gobustan is a real open-air museum, visited by thousands of people from all over the world. 


Laman Ismayilova  is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova

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