Exploratory expedition of the reserve-museum «Issyk» in the tracts of Nauakesken and Bolys-sai

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Employees of the State Historical and Cultural Reserve Museum «Issyk» from August 9 to 20, 2017 in the scientific and applied project «Ideology and Mythology of the Saks of Semirechye» conducted exploration research in the gorges of Nauakesken and Bolys-sai, located 10 km. from the village of Dolayty, Bolsheaksu rural district, Uygur district, Almaty region.

Based on the plan, the scope of work consisted of two parts. The first part included the implementation of works of reconnaissance nature with the determination of the locations of petroglyphic monuments, the second part, basically, consisted of works connected with the copying of selected drawings and plots by producing prints. 20170816_102228-1024x768                                                                                                          Photo 1

The petroglyphs of the Nauakesken tract along the areas of the cluster, were conditionally divided into 4 parts (photo 1), in addition, more than 200 rock carvings were photographed and the copies of the drawings of parts No. 1,3,4 (photo 2) were taken. Basically, petroglyphs, in their temporal origin, belong to the era of early iron. The main feature of their localization is the fact that they are located vertically, they start at the foot of the mountains and rise to the top. Here, as in other Petroglyphic sites of the Semirechye, there are images of deer, two-humped camels, an arch, a mountain goat, a dog, a wolf, archers, horsemen, bulls and hunting scenes, rare images of sun-headed and sacral signs (possibly, tribal tamgas).

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Unlike the partially explored location of the Bolys-sai, the Nauakesken petroglyphs are in relatively good condition. However, both of them can disappear in the future as a result of natural, man-made, anthropogenic factors. Complex image gallery, which in the past occupied an area from west to east from 2.5 to 3 km, now lost 80-90% of its presentability.

In the Bolys-say tract, from the west to the east, groups of rock carvings, mostly dating back to the Bronze Age, were identified. At this site petroglyphs of the Early Iron Age are rare and are located mainly at the foot of the hills. As a result of the research, not only rock carvings, but also ancient settlements, sanctuaries and burial places, covering the period from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages, were identified. In the Bolys-sai tract, images of argali and mountain goats were seen, while images of deer, riders, archers, hunting scenes are extremely rare. However, generic signs (tamgas) and plots of drawings that were not found in other regions of Kazakhstan were identified. The petroglyphs were photographed on the prints (photo. 3).

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The results of the research work was the discovery of rock carvings of the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, ancient settlements, sites and cemeteries, single artifacts (fragments of ceramics, beads fragments, stone products). As a result of the first stage of the scientific project, petroglyphic sources were selected, including new ones not shown in other monuments of the rock art of the country (photo 4), which have valuable semantic significance for deciphering the worldview of our ancient ancestors.

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Ziririya D.K

Scientific secretary of the reserve-museum «Issyk»

Amargazieva A.ZH.

Scientific worker of the reserve-museum «Issyk»