You are here

Home » Almaty region monuments. Unusual travel and tours in Kazakhstan.

Petroglyphs of Bas batyr.

Excursions to petroglyphs of Kazakhstan.

“Mysterious dance of figures.
An arrow in a fatal flight.
What a picturesque drawing
A rock gave it to centuries!"

Petr Korytko.

Cave paintings of Bronze Age in Kazakhstan.

The Bas batyr petroglyphs are located in the Bas batyr mountains at an altitude of 1132 meters above sea level, 4.3 kilometers north-west of the village of Degeres, 5.4 kilometers to the east and slightly north of the village of Beriktas in the south-western part of the Zhambyl region of Almaty area.
As a result of preliminary studies of the Bas batyr site carried out in 2013 by the authors of the article, about 150 planes with rock paintings were discovered, several dozen of which are unique. Some of the images are significant in size from 1 to 1.65 meters in length.
Most of the images were carved here in the early Iron Age, but there are unique images from the Middle and Late Bronze Age as well as up to modern times. The most ancient part of the rock art monument, located on an elongated mountain ridge, is a small hill located closer to the western end of the Basbatyr ridge - the location of the petroglyphs of the Late Bronze Age; there are also separate images of this time on other hills of the ridge.
Petroglyphs of the Early Iron Age are the most common, a significant part of them are unique, primarily due to their size, there are also isolated analogies to unique images from Eshkolmes, reproducing the plots of Saka mythology.
A unique depiction of the Late Bronze Age is the depiction of a "sun-headed" deity. The overwhelming majority of the images are carved on a coarse-grained surface of rocks with uneven rock-surfaces of local granitoid rock, with uneven patinization, in this sense not very suitable for drawing and perception of petroglyphs.
It is this kind of rock that dominates here. The most striking petroglyphs of Bas batyr, in the first place, include the already mentioned image of the "sun-headed" deity. The anthropomorphic image with rays, about 15 cm high, was drawn using the so-called graffiti technique in the Late Bronze Age. In a similar manner, the image of a camel was made, which the deity "leads on the bit."
It is this technique of drawing a picture on a stone surface, as well as hair-rays diverging in all directions, which lead to unambiguous analogies of this image with the image of the "sun-headed" charioteer from Eshkolmes, which has already become canon, widely known not only in a narrow scientific community.
It is characteristic that the anthropomorphic "sun-headed" deity from Basbatyr "leads in the bit" the hoofed animal, apparently, the camel.
Geographic coordinates of the Bas batyr petroglyphs: N43°16'19,84" E75°46'40,74"

B. A. Zheleznyakov, L. Hermann. "State Historical, Cultural and Natural Reserve-Museum" Tanbaly", Uzynagash, Kazakhstan. Institute for Archaeological Research, Austria, Vienna.

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.