Archaeology / Cultural Heritage / History

[Archaeology] [twocolumns]

Anthropology / Human Evolution / Linguistics

[Anthropology] [twocolumns]

Palaeontology / Palaeoclimate / Earth Sciences

[Palaeontology] [twocolumns]

Evolution / Genetics / Biology

[Evolution][twocolumns]

Rare petroglyphs dating from the Early Middle Ages discovered in Altai


An archaeological expedition by the State Archaeological University has examined medieval rock art located near the Pazyryk burial mounds in Ulazhonsky District. The research results were published in the scientific journal Archaeology, Ethnography and Anthropology of Eurasia.


Rare petroglyphs dating from the Early Middle Ages discovered in Altai
Credit: Université d’État de Gorno-Altaïsk



The images are engraved on rocky outcrops with a sharp object. Various figures were drawn on the monument: wild animals, people, separate images of weapons and two images of yurt-shaped dwellings. 


Rare petroglyphs dating from the Early Middle Ages discovered in Altai
Credit: Université d’État de Gorno-Altaïsk

There are also several hunting and combat scenes and some separate images. An interesting "meeting" scene of a male and a female deer, depicted running towards each other, was also documented. The examined petroglyphs mainly date back to the Early Middle Ages (Turkic era), but there is also an older image of a Late Bronze Age chariot from the turn of the 2nd - 1st millennium BC.


Rare petroglyphs dating from the Early Middle Ages discovered in Altai
Credit: Université d’État de Gorno-Altaïsk


The monument was first examined by Kemerovo archaeologist A.S. Vasyutin back in 1980, but for various reasons, including methodological difficulties in studying engraved petroglyphs, it has not become an object of special study for a long time. The rock carvings are quite small, many of them are made with thin shallow lines and their details are poorly visible to the naked eye. With the development of digital photography, methods of studying miniatures made by the thin line engraving technique have become available. 


Rare petroglyphs dating from the Early Middle Ages discovered in Altai
Credit: Université d’État de Gorno-Altaïsk

The petroglyphs were photographed under lateral lighting in the morning and evening, when the sun is low above the horizon. Thanks to this lighting, even the shallowest lines carved on the stone can be clearly seen in the photographs. The rock carvings were then drawn on a graphic tablet using enlarged photos. Sufficiently high resolution of photos allowed magnifying them several times and drawing the smallest details and poorly distinguishable thin lines.


Rare petroglyphs dating from the Early Middle Ages discovered in Altai
Credit: Université d’État de Gorno-Altaïsk



This method of copying petroglyphs is now widely used by specialists when studying rock art sites. Taking into account the current level of technical sophistication, its availability and existing digital photo processing technologies (such as photogrammetry), photography and subsequent processing of images is currently the most optimal way to study rock art. However, the main advantage of studying petroglyphs with the help of digital photography is that it is a non-invasive method of studying, in which there is no impact on the carved surfaces.


Rare petroglyphs dating from the Early Middle Ages discovered in Altai
Credit: Université d’État de Gorno-Altaïsk

The attention of researchers to the development of contact-free methods of study is due to the fact that petroglyphs are one of the most vulnerable monuments of historical and cultural heritage. The figures are located on open rocky surfaces and, besides being constantly influenced by natural processes, often suffer from the hands of vandals who do not understand the value of this ancient art monument and its importance for studying the culture and worldview of our distant ancestors.


Source: Université d’État de Gorno-Altaïsk [trsl. TANN, November 12, 2020]



Support The Archaeology News Network with a small donation!




TANN

Post A Comment
  • Blogger Comment using Blogger
  • Facebook Comment using Facebook
  • Disqus Comment using Disqus

No comments :


Exhibitions / Travel

[Exhibitions] [bsummary]

Natural Heritage / Environment / Wildlife

[Natural Heritage] [list]

Astronomy / Astrobiology / Space Exploration

[Universe] [list]