Central Asia is the most significant area in the world for the number of its ancient images drawn on rocks – petrogliphs. There is not much information about the ancient tribes and peoples who lived on the present territory of Kazakhstan. One of the most interesting monuments in history is Tamgaly – a gallery of ancient rock images. It is more than 3000 years old. Since 2003 Tamgaly has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Among the low Chu-Ili Mountains, in the Anrahai range, there are sections of rock –faces scorched by the hot desert sun in a small valley. Here on the odd curves of the valley sides rocky slopes creating an illusion of closed space surround the spectator. Since ancient times all this region has been an area of religious ritual that was visited by people only for religious reasons. The people of Tamgaly led their everyday lives on the edge of the mountain valley where the remains of old settlements and graves were found. Petrogliphs are the most significant of all the historical monuments of the valley. All the rocks of this and of valleys nearby are covered by the images. On the relatively small territory of the valley there are concentrated about a hundred different monuments – settlements, graves, sacrificial sites and petrogliphs dated from the Bronze Age, early Iron Age, from the Middle Ages and from the New Age. Altogether about five thousand petrogliphs have been found. According to the archaeologists most of the images were made over a relatively short period of time during one or two generations. Most of the images portray different animals, hunting and scenes of ritual – images of people dressed as animals or animals standing like people. Some drawings seem to relate to space or pure fantasy. For example an image of a God with his head as the sun can be seen thirty times. A series of images dated between 14 and 13 centuries BC is of special artistic value. They show the highest levels of petrogliph art. In those times the images of horses and bulls prevail and there are single images of a camel, a deer and a wild boar.
Archaeologists made a structural analysis of the drawings and discovered interesting facts. Practically all the animals’ heads were pointing in a southwest direction. They believe in shows the route of migration.
The second conclusion is also certain – the people led a nomadic lifestyle.
Moreover Tamgaly is unique for several anomalies. Firstly, it hardly ever rains here. It can rain everywhere else but it’s sunny in Tamgaly. Archaeologists say it’s a constant phenomenon here. Secondly you can hear a person standing next to the drawings from a clearing 200 meters away.
Travelling to Tamgaly is not tiring – the place is only 170 kilometres drive from the city. Especially in the spring you can see a lot of migrating birds on the way to Tamgaly.
Truly Tamgaly has a huge potential of energy. Famous writers and artists find inspiration for their work here.