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Eshkiolmes subjects of art.
New tour: “Secret petrgoglyphs Eshkiolmes”.
One the territory of Kazakhstan and Central Asia there are many monuments of rock art of sakae time such as: pictures of Karatau, petroglyphs of Cholpon-Ata and Ur-Maral in Kyrgyzslan, concentration of petyroglyphs in Koitas canyon on Usek River in Semirechie. But all these monuments of ancient art yield by quantity and expressiveness to the pictures of Koksu river valley. As among other concentrations of pictures, here they are situated near the most ancient figures of bronze epoch.
The biggest quantity of sakae pictures was discovered in the 10, 12, 13 and 20 canyons of Eshkiolmes ridge. Here are situated the most early petroglyphs of arjan-maiemir stage of the VIII - VII c.c. B.C. and the most late of the middle of the I millennium. On the rocks are pictured the main images of scythian-sakae art: eagles, deers, wild rams, goats, bulls, panthers and wolves. Some of these pictures have the analogues in the bright monuments of applied art as, for example, the figures of eagles. Their analogues are in the golden plates from Irtysh region, dated by S.S.Chernikov by the VII c.c. B.C.
The interesting is interpretation of bird-predator' image: turned back head is drawn into the contour of its figure. In the image of bird are masterly underlined the beak and eye, which form the bright impression. The aneient master created by some details the surprising image of a bird-predator.
This method, when the part of figure or some one-two details are shown, is widely spread in sakae art. Evidently, the artists pictured not the bird itself, but its model, known to him from the items of metal. The figures of panthers from the canyon No.10 are not less conditional. Ву some gravings it is diffieult to define the kind of animal, but the style and methods, characteristic for sakae art let to conneet such petroglyphs surely with the epoch of early iron. The expressive are also the pictures of wolves. Already in the epoch of early iron were worked out some variants in ieonography of this predator: wolf, following wild ram or goat, predator is shown with opened grind jaws, the same subject-the underlined eye and claws, coming down tail of predator. Front pads are thrown forward.
The part of similar subjects is made by non deep cutting; the part is stratched or cut. With the help of graffiti the ancient masters could bring the great dynamic ness and expression to the scenes of following by wolves of hoofed animals. In the pictures of wild boars the figures are differed by violation of proportions: as the rule, the muzzle of animal is hypertrophied with defined eyes and fangs. The characteristic method as picture of a part of figure instead of the complete one, found its place in the petroglyphs of Koksu river valley. In the picture 80 only the head of wild boar is contoured. The most completely the ancient artists worked out the iconography of deer's image. It is possible to define as minimum 4 - 5 variants.
1) Deer staying on the hooves' edges. The picture is contour with defined shoulder blade hill; the horns are shown in a form of short curls and thrown back.
2) The same picture, but the deer has the eye in a form of cone centric circle and the ear. On the thigh is the spiral or short turned stroke.
3) Horns of deer are in a form of catapult with branches going up.
4) Sehematic figure of deer with the horns pietured conditionally and are shown in a form straight line going up, crossing by stratched short lines. Among the specialists there is no common point of view on the place of its initial forming. Finding of pictures on the plates of Arjan burial mound could contour the region with the earliest monuments of Scythian art, but its analogous, images are also in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. To the number of the most ancient images of seythian-sakae art, probably, is necessary to refer the figures of deers with crossed legs, situated one above another in the canyon Tamgaly and some pictures from the canyon No.10 in the mountains Eshkiolmes.
The figures of deer are different from the latest pictures by the stylistic features: placing on the plane surface, form of horns, shoulder hillock. There are some indirect features which let to consider these figures as early images of seythian-sakae art. So, in a row of subjects the archer with the expressive sexual feature is shooting to the deer in the centre of scene.
The analogous figures of shots are characteristic for petroglyphs of bronze epoch, but not early iron epoch, and the subject itself is situated in surrounding of bronze epoch petroglyphs. Pictures of bulls with twisted into rings horns can be referred to the early ones. This topic is known from the epoch of bronze. Evolution of this image is seen well from the table. As it was already noted above, in Semirechie are the images of animals which are not characteristic for other regions. They are, first of all, pictures of wild rams with twisted into spiral horns and with crossed legs.
Some of them have the characteristic hillock on the back, the feature met in the figures of deers and goats and other animals. Many images of sakae-scythian art can be referred to the early period of forming of «animal» style. In Eshkiolmes are the pictures of bulls which are difficult to connect with the epoch of bronze. We see the contour stylized picture. The contour of animal is put by thin line in several stratches. Round shaped forms of figure, eye of animal - everything is done in scythian- sakae style.
Evidently, the separate features of «animal» style can be observed already at the beginning of the I millennium B.C, but the appearance on the huge territory of Eurasia of the common style during the short range of time shows the non gradual forming of a new art, but not that big changes in the mode of life and ideology of population, which happened in the society in the VIII - VII c.c. B.C.
Source of information:
«Petroglyphs in Eshkiolmes mountains».K.M. Baipakov,A.N. Maryayshev, S. A Potapov, А.А.Gorychev.Almaty. 2005.
Alexander Petrov's photos.