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Saimaly-Tash Petroglyphs

Date of Submission: 29/01/2001
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(vi)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Kyrgyz National Commission for UNESCO
Coordinates: 41° N - 73°50' E Jalal-Abad region (oblast), Toguz-Toro district
Ref.: 1512

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Situated high up in the Ferghana mountain range, Saimaly-Tash is a grandiose natural sanctuary containing one of the biggest collections of rock pictures not only in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia but also in the whole world. About 10,000 stones with pictures have been identified, the earliest dating back to the third to early second millennia BC, that is to the Eneolithic and Bronze Ages. Saimaly-Tash is remarkable in that it has been in continuous use as a sacred site by the populations of Tien-Shan and Pre-Ferghana from the third millennium BC until the middle ages, and even until the present day. It is thus a rich source of knowledge about the everyday life, mentality, history and culture of the ancient tribes of hunters, cattlebreeders and first peasants in Central Asia, about the development of their spiritual culture, their religious beliefs and their worship of mountains, nature, totems and solar-cosmic images.