Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Siypantosh Rock Paintings

Date of Submission: 18/01/2008
Criteria: (ii)(iii)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO
State, Province or Region:
Kashkadarya Region
Coordinates: N39 15 E66 40
Ref.: 5297

The Tentative Lists of States Parties are published by the World Heritage Centre at its website and/or in working documents in order to ensure transparency, access to information and to facilitate harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels.

The sole responsibility for the content of each Tentative List lies with the State Party concerned. The publication of the Tentative Lists does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the World Heritage Committee or of the World Heritage Centre or of the Secretariat of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


The monument situated in the southwest ridge of Zarafshan mountains, in 40 km to the northwest from Shakhrisyabz, (Kashkadarya Region) in upper gorges Kuruksaj, in the northern suburb of the same village, opposite to the rural school. The height is 820 m above sea level. Siypantosh - «slippery stone» - represents the group of rocky canopies, located on the right, turned to the east, slope of the ridge of Kuruksay, differing with many exposures granite-diorite gob. The stone canopies which have formed as a result of aeration, have rather equal dome-shaped surfaces towering above an inclined plane of the rock on 1-1,5 m and more. Two big canopies are allocated: the first, basic, length about 8 m and width 3-5 m, and the second canopy located nearby, the length about 4 m and width up to 2 m. On the bottom, planes of the both canopies are available made by paint and incused images, put on the rough surface of the stone, covered limy for short while, having places dark grey, red-brown or yellowy-brown shades. Figures are executed by the mineral paint of black, yellow and red-brown color of the different tones. The repertoire of the images of the basic canopy is presented by various geometrical figures: single figures of the direct and slanting crosses, foot shaped sign, rang from short straight lines or cross lines, a circle with a cross inside, etc. Central place among them is occupied silhouette with figure of the bull with curved horns; others are poorly looked through also silhouette images. In some cases of others, executed by a different paint and, apparently, occurring at the different times, observe it. In the bottom part of the arch, surface of "floor" has images of the animals, which have been incused by reddish layer «patina». The second canopy in the top part where small niche of the oval form that decorated by prints of 10-12 tiny palms made by a reddish paint. The separate group of figures includes complex figures in the form of an oval with the crossed lines, two circles with crosses inside, connected by a line, etc. All images here are executed by paint of identical color. The surface of "floor" under the basic canopy has an inclination under the corner nearby 40° and it smoothed strongly down; along a longitudinal axis of canopy, directly under the images, the slippery path was polished form on which adults and children roll down, which come for worship and rest here. Under the third canopy located below canopies with the figures, on flat to "floor", large lune-deepening oval or circle forms are allocated; 6-7 lunes are located by two lines, the depth of the lune - about 10 cm; at the edges of deepening there are traces of smoothing down. The arrangement and the form of boulders surrounding canopies are those, that the open access to them is available only from one (southeast) side where fancifully removed rocks form similarity of the arch entrance. In 20-25 m from canopies, on the surface of one of the bottom rocks, there are schematically incused images of animals essentially differing from the modern adjoining figures, possibly, dated at the Late Middle Ages or new time. The monument has discovered and for the first time has investigated by incorporated Kashkadarya archeological expedition of National State University (Tashkent) and institutes of History and Archeology of Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan under the direction of R.H.Suleymanov in 2001. Preliminary dating is certain by researchers in an interval mesolite - the epoch of bronze. Petroglifs, incused on the open rocks near to canopies, can be dated new time. Siypantosh consists of the account as the monument of local value, but borders of the monument and protected zone are not determine, physical protection from the state authorized bodies is absent.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

The monument possesses exclusively value in the several aspects:

  • concerns to number comparably rare and, probably, most ancient sites rock painting of Central Asia;
  • preserved living connection with ritually-cult practice of local population is preserved;
  • shows rare example of the traditional management - protection and cares about the ancient monument local community.

In the connection with these features of Siypantosh, first, it is necessary to be careful of any rough, unreasoned intervention from the outside in the existing system of the public attitudes, despite of any progressive purposes! A priority should become deep and all-round studying of the modern cultural context of the monument, and the condition of its physical safety too. It is possible to speak confidently, that studying of the traditional mechanism of preservation and utilize Siypantosh and other similar sites will be valuable contribution to develop of the model of the sustainable management of monuments of entire region.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The monument is actually located in the territory of the modern village - kishlak, near to inhabited and economic constructions; nevertheless, it is necessary to note the satisfactory condition of canopies with images and surrounding rocks. The surface of canopies with figures in the number of the places has visible damages - flaking-off, paint on the separate images was separated together with superficial cortex the stone or limy strike. Near to the basic canopy on the external surface of the canopy (without ancient images) have noticed the individual inscriptions made by chalk

Comparison with other similar properties

Like serial objects of the rock arts of Central Asia, it is possible to compare among each other of archeological landscapes Siypantosh and Zarautsoy and Shaft (Tajikistan). By the quantity of the figures, concentration and to specific variety of the animals, by the occupied area of archeological landscape Siypantosh surpasses Zarautsoy.