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Koskuduk petroglyphs.

Travel options on Mangyshlak.

“I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers” 

Langston Hughes.

Of travel to Mangyshlak.

The site is located 7km from Aktau town on Caspian Sea riverside rocks, on the territory of settlements from the Late Neolithic called Koskuduk I. The site was discovered and explored in the course of archeological excavations at the dwelling site by Astafyev A.E. (Samashev 2006).
Two snakes were engraved on a horizontal limestone surface within a Neolithic habitation site. The images are deeply carved and 1.5 - 2.0 cm wide; the snake heads are rounded cavities. One figure is 67cm long, while another one, in a worse statue of preservation, is 23cm long.
Both snakes are depicted as crawling side by side. To the left of the large image, 8 aligned cup-holes are 3 - 3.5cm in diameter. The images include grooves, two crawling snakes and, possibly, a fish 150m south-east of cliffs near the sea.
The snakes are 160 and 250cm long; an extension near the head of one of them resembles a cobra’s hood. Three artificial cavities were possibly meant to collect rainwater, 10m from the horizontal surface of the cliff; the capacity of the reservoirs is about 30 liters.
The images were discovered in an archeological context, which permits dating them to the Neolithic, i.e. when the habitation site was used.

The Koskuduk petroglyphs.The Koskuduk petroglyphs.The Koskuduk petroglyphs.

“Rock Art Sites in Kazakhstan”. Alexey E. Rogozhinskiy.

Photo by
Andrei Astafyev.