You are here

Home » Karaganda region monuments archeologic. Tours and Presentations in Kazakhstan.

Konyrzhon petroglyphs.

Petroglyphs in the Karkaraly mountains.

“For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right wing and a left wing: for the wing of love there is anger; for the wing of destiny there is fear; for the wing of pain there is healing; for the wing of hurt there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride there is humility; for the wing of giving there is taking; for the wing of tears there is joy; for the wing of rejection there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment there is grace; for the wing of honor there is shame; for the wing of letting go there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance. Two beautiful wings is perfection. There is a generation of people who idealize perfection as the existence of only one of these wings every time. But I see that a bird with one wing is imperfect. An angel with one wing is imperfect. A butterfly with one wing is dead. So this generation of people strive to always cut off the other wing in the hopes of embodying their ideal of perfection, and in doing so, have created a crippled race” 

C. JoyBell C.

Guide to the petroglyphs of Kazakhstan.

The Konyrzhon petroglyphs are located at a distance of 9 kilometers northwest of the village of Besoba in the Kosshoky mountains at a distance of 6 km west of the Baikozh River in the Karkarlinsky district of the Karaganda region.
The most ancient monuments of this region are presented in the “Archaeological Map of Kazakhstan” and include several dozen large objects: among them there is a settlement of the Bronze Age in the tract Zhamantas, numerous mounds and stone walls of the Bronze Age, monuments of the era of the early nomads and medieval burials.
Starting from field research of the Central Kazakhstan archaeological expedition in the 1950s under the leadership of A. Kh. Margulan, and up to now, comprehensive research of archaeological sites of different historical periods continues, carried out by the joint efforts of the archaeological expedition led by A. Z. Beisenov and the expedition of the Saryarkinsky Archaeological Institute at the KarSU named after E. A. Buketov under the leadership of I A. Kukushkina.
A significant part of the monuments excavated here dates from the first half - the third quarter of the second millennium BC. e. (Margulan et al., 1966; Margulan, 1979; Kadyrbaev, Kurmankulov, 1992; Kukushkin, 2011, p. 110 - 117; Evdokimov, 2001; Evdokimov, Varfolomeev, 2002).
Findings from monuments of the Bronze Age and other historical periods indicate a high level of material and spiritual culture of the population of this region (Agapov, Kadyrbaev, 1979; Kadyrbaev, 1966, p. 303 - 428; Beisenov, 2011).
About the accumulation of petroglyphs, Konyrzhon was informed by a local local historian, a history teacher at school No. 8 in the village of Besoba, now retired T. Ashirbekov. The photograph of the petroglyphs he made and a brief report about them were published in the Ortalyk Kazakhstan newspaper.
In September 2015, this pictorial monument was examined in detail and recorded by the authors of this book. By agreement with A.Z. Beisenov, who examined this monument in 2008, the location of the petroglyphs was recorded as Konyrzhon - by the name of the entire tract, in which there are ruins of an abandoned wintering of the same name.
Rock paintings of the Konyrzhon tract are plotted on small smooth planes of silt-polymictic sandstones of light brown, located on the eastern slope and the crest of a low hill at an altitude of 200 - 300 m at two levels, formed by tiers overlooking the top and slope of rock up to 2 meters high.
Massive and relatively flat slabs, adapted for applying images, are few. The recorded petroglyphs are located on small and even slabs-planes of these two stone ridges, are abundantly covered with a desert tan and are found at a distance of about 300 - 350 meters along the slope and at the top of the hill.
The cliff patinization level is 3-4, and the images are from 2 to 4 units. In total, more than a hundred figures were found on 15 medium-sized planes. Most petroglyph plates have a vertical exposure and oriented east. Images are made mainly in spot technique with elements of scratching and thorough grinding of the patina.
Despite the small number, in the repertoire of petroglyphs of the Konyrzhon tract there are interesting images from the point of view of chronological attribution. The figures of camels, mountain sheep, dogs, horsemen, people with weapons are widely represented.
The cliffs depict scenes of hunting and stalking animals. A representative group of images is a peculiar triptych located on three different planes, but united by one rocky outcrop of the rock. On a separate, very upper plane, a large contour figure of a horse with a large round horn above the croup is knocked out.
The image of the horse is divided by vertical stripes dissecting the body of the animal into several parts. The legs are beveled forward, the muscles of the legs are tense, which gives dynamism to the pose of the animal. The image of the horse is made in the Scythian-Saka animal style and is located above all other petroglyphs of this group.
Near and just below this “horned” horse on a slab under a triangular shape 0.9 x 0.7 m in size there is a multi-figure composition with thirty images, including warriors armed with bows with drawn quivers hanging from their belts
(the shape of the triangular arrowheads is well traced); camel rider; large dog and others. The composition style is original, all the characters are depicted in different projections, and the figures of animals and especially camels are shown with four legs and very small humps.
A number of figures from this scene were later updated. Traces of renewal and lighter patina color on many figures of this composition are convincing evidence of this. At the same time, all the smallest details of this composition were carefully worked out by thin carved lines.
So, people’s fingers are shown, spread out to the sides, hair, noses, phalluses, feet; reins belts for animals from the caravan are read, bows and quivers with arrows for soldiers, the shape of arrowheads, saddles and other small details.
The triptych under review is completed by a composition of three figures of people with hands raised up or bent at the elbows. They seem to turn to heaven. Four bird figures in a standard pose are depicted next to them - with wings down.
Obviously later, in the left part of the plane, a sultan tamga was carved in lines, possibly stylized as a bird with wings down. Some of the analogies given above make it possible to date the considered images of all this triptych to the era of the early nomads, when the images of the “horned” horse as a symbol of the sun or sky and the horse itself  - the main production power of the nomads - become the defining element of the nomadic society (Dzhumabekova, Bazarbaeva, 2013).
As a percentage, the images of the mountain goat / ram (32.7%), camel (8%), dogs and birds (3.6% each), horses (2.6%) prevail in Konyrzhon's petroglyphs, 21.2% are not defined . Anthropomorphic images (21.5%) include archers, adorants, a camel rider (there are no horse riders).
Part of the petroglyphs of this location probably appeared at the developed stage of the formation of the animal style, while the other part of the images was made later and can be attributed to the period of the Middle Ages.
This can be judged by the stylized sign of the Sultan sultanic tamga (Bazylkhan, 2012, p. 84 - 90; Rogozhinsky, 2012, p. 91 - 104).

M.V. Bedelbaeva, V.A. Novozhenov, N.V. Novozhenova. "Fine monuments of the Kazakh small hills". Karaganda State University named after academician E.A. Buketova. Saryarka Archaeological Institute. Karaganda. 2015.

Alexander Petrov.