Sarmysh Petroglyphs

Sarmysh Petroglyphs

There are a number of petroglyph sites located in Central Asia where signatures of ancient men praying for a good hunt, a fertile marriage or perhaps only expressing the nature of their daily life, are depicted. Sarmysh (sometimes Sarmyshsay) petroglyphs are an exceptionally popular sight for the sheer wealth of rock drawings. 

saimalytash in the history museum, Tashkent

The destinations is located in the Samish Gorge, nearby the Karatau Mountain Range about 35 km northeast of NavoiThere are actually two petroglyph sites that date back as far as the Stone Age with a total of 10,000 ancient rock carvings. According to UNESCO, it is the largest and most important rock art monument in Uzbekistan and therefore it is in the list of tentative Unesco world heritage sites.

According to the archaeologists of the Archaeological Institute under the Academy of Science of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the petroglyphs could be from the Paleolithic (old stone age), stone age or bronze age eras (300-15 000 years BC). In the Neolithic period (6th – 5th centuries BC) tribes of hunters and fishers of Keltaminar culture settled here and formed tribes in the area of Sarmyshsay. Apart from the usual figures of the hunters, horses and deer, there are also dancers, creepy camels with three humps and men with two heads. The number of petroglyphs and their variety are truly remarkable. 

Sights near Sarmysh Petroglyphs

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