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Petroglyphs of Zarafshan Valley.

Cave paintings and Petroglyphs Uzbekistan.

“The distance of time’s separation brings us remnants of memories so ancient that most are lost in the mists of illusion…” 

A.J. Vosse.

Ancient Petroglyphs in Uzbeekistan.

The Zarafshan Valley lies in the central part of Uzbekistan and is bounded by the western spurs of the Zarafshan (Nuratau Mountains) and Turkestan (Zirabulak-Ziyadin Mountains) Ranges. This region has a concentration of many archeological sites including rock art from different periods.
Sarmishsay is one of the best known and most representative locations of petroglyphs in Uzbekistan. It is the largest rock art site of the republic, a kind of nucleus for an entire region in the middle reaches of the Zarafshan River with a concentration of more than 50 other locations in the Nuratau Range.
Zh. Kabirov identified and examined new locations of petroglyphs in 1963 - 1976 in the Western Tien-Shan, Nuratau Range and Alai. He made a significant contribution to petroglyph research in the Zarafshan Valley and Uzbekistan on the whole.
For several years, Zh. Kabirov researched petroglyphs in Sarmishsay, discovered in the Nuratau Mountains in 1958. Beginning in 1987, Khujanazarov has been studying rock art in the Nuratau Range and its spurs Aktau and Karatau; a study of the sites in this region still continues.
The Sarmishsay complex is among the most researched location of petroglyphs in Uzbekistan and the whole of Central Asia (Lasota-Moskalewska & Hudjanazarov 2000; Rozwadowski 2003; Tashkenbaev 1966; Kabirov 1976; Sher 1980; Khuzhanazarov 1998; Lasota-Moskalewska & Hudjanazarov 2000; Rozwadowski 2003, and others).
 The chronological range of drawings in Sarmishsay and a series of other sites in the region practically represents all the historical periods of Central Asian rock art – from the Neolithic (?) and Eneolithic to modern times.

Muhiddin Khujanazarov.

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.