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'In Buryar language Baikal is called Baigal-nuur'
Marc Di Duca

4,000 year old art gallery found in Siberia

By Anna Liesowska
20 June 2016

Vivid red and orange paintings by Bronze Age artists go on show for the first time.

The image of a figurine, close to which is depicted a circle - a solar sign, the sign of the sun - is highlighted on the cap of one of the scientists. Picture: Sergei Alkin

There are ancient images of humans, a bull, a trees and birds in 20-plus 'perfectly preserved'  petroglyphs in a remote spot in TransBaikal region. Most intriguing in the newly revealed rock art is a figurine and nearby a human-like image is a circle, seemingly a sign of the sun. 

Scientist Sergei Alkin said: 'We can assume that the figure with the solar sign depicts a shaman with a drum.' 

The experts kept the ancient art gallery discovery under wraps for three years to preserve the integrity of the site as they returned for more trips to study the intriguing drawings. 

The paintings were found many years ago by hunters, but it was only in 2013 that scientists were alerted. Local resident Evgeny Karelin took the experts to the site on Largi River, near the village of Gorbitsa, some 545 kilometres north east of regional capital Chita.

Rock art GV

The experts kept the ancient art gallery discovery under wraps for three years to preserve the integrity of the site as they returned for more trips to study the intriguing drawings. Picture: Sergei Alkin

Dr Sergei Alkin, from Novosibirsk University, was the first academic to closely examine the rocks, where paintings were made with red and orange ocher, an earthy pigment containing ferric oxide.

'The rock art at Largi river is a rare site,' he said. 'It is large and contains many images, while generally on the rocks in this area show between one and three poorly preserved drawings. 

'Secondly, we are pleased that it is perfectly preserved. The site was found by accident many years ago by a local hunter and hardly visited by other people.'

Work is now underway to interpret the ancient artistry.

'Of course, we must understand that interpretation of these images is not easy,' he said. 'Central in the composition are the anthropomorphic images. 

'It is difficult to say definitely who they represent: the hunters or spirits? In particular, there is a figurine, close to which is depicted a circle - a solar sign, the sign of the sun. It has a cross inside. In many local cultures it may represent shaman drums.

Rock art GV


Rock art GV

'It is large and contains many images, while generally on the rocks in this area show between one and three poorly preserved drawings.' Pictures: Sergei Alkin 

'So it is possible to assume that the figure with the solar sign depicts a shaman with a drum.' 

This image is highlighted on the cap of one of the scientists. 

Another striking element of this rock art are numerous points and lines. 'Such points are sometimes interpreted as a symbol of counting, as if the author recorded the number of certain objects, perhaps cattle in the herd. 

'As for the number of vertical lines above the horizontal line, it is quite possible that these show dugout canoes with people sitting in them. Anyway, this is how such images have been interpreted by colleagues in other regions. There is only one such image known in Trans-Baikal region so far.'

He defended the secrecy of delaying an announcement on the rock art for several years. 

'We now have a complete copy, with which we can work already to study the images, and analyse the plot (depicted in these pictures). On the one hand, our task was to tell everyone about these amazing petroglyphs, brought to the study other scientists. 

Rock art closeup

'As for the number of vertical lines above the horizontal line, it is quite possible that these show dugout canoes with people sitting in them.' Picture: Sergei Alkin

'On the other hand, we wanted this rock art to remain undamaged with no marks and drawings left by tourists.'

They did not announce the find for several years enabling study of the remarkable rock art. The actual location in 'a wild and remote area' is still not disclosed. 

Preliminary dating suggests the find is around 4,000 years old. In the future, with more resources, an attempt will be made to date it more precisely. 

'The rock art is not just paintings or engravings,' he said. They are associated with the rituals and ceremonies. Usually at the site under the images are the altars, there are various tools, and arrowheads. But so far we have not found traces of ritual activity at the foot of this rock with paintings.'

Shilka river

A view of the Shilka river, close to the estuary of the Largi river. Picture: Sergei Alkin

Yet there is a well known site of ancient hunters and fishermen on the estuary of the Largi river nearby. Here fragments of Bronze Age vessels have been found. The scientist hopes that in the near future it will be possible to find a connection between this site and petroglyphs.

'Today this place is remote and scarcely populated, but in the times when Largi rock art was created it was relatively well inhabited.' The first archaeological remains were discovered here in the early twentieth century. 

'Over the years, we have found here the first sites of the Upper Paleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age, and managed to conduct large-scale studies of fortifications  dated from the late first and early second millennium BC. So in the past, this area was not deserted.'

Sergei Alkin

Dr Sergei Alkin, from Novosibirsk University, was the first academic to closely examine the rocks. Picture: Novosibirsk State University

The artists here are likely to be people of Tungus or Mongolian origins. 

Next, archaeologists plan to study the chemical composition of ocher - natural dye that was used to create petroglyphs. Scientists hope that the composition will help locate the source of the raw material used by the ancient people.

Dr Alkin added: 'In addition, we want to explore the neighbourhood in search of other petroglyphs. There is a possibility that the Largi rock art is not the only one in this area. We will search.'

Comments (17)

The circle in combination with a cross is the symbol of planet Nibiru. the ninth planet in our solar system. Nibiru crosses the eclyptic plane of the other eight planets every 3,600 years. Then it causes huge floods, storms and a bombardment of meteorites. Many men and animals die, but some survive every time. Evidence is found in the earth crust, old books, artifacts and symbols like the one above. I explain it in my book: "Nibiru will return".
Ad Roest, The Netherlands
03/07/2016 22:29
2
4
To find the explanation for these rock art symbols I suggest a curious investigator review the ThunderboltsProject youtube channel. How is it that the symbol of the sun and numerous other drawings have been found on every continent? Even more curious is why do the cave arts found world wide, drawn by ancient people, match plasma discharge patterns created in at the Los Alamos National Laboratory by Anthony Parratt in the 1950s??

I just saw another article describing how an "Electric Wind" removed all water from venus.

Just what did the ancient people witness and experience?!?
Levon Marcellus, NY, US
27/06/2016 11:22
2
3
Imagine it was once a bustling metropolis by a river and that was its graffiti.
jfsdka, ......
27/06/2016 07:59
1
0
As I understand this work should go back to around neolithic times. Secondly what is being stressed upon identified as a circle is debatable as I understand.! No comments in this regard at this point of time. And, the vertical lines above horizontal frame to me look more like Boats with men transporting/ migrating or usual means of crossing rivers / water bodies when difficult to locate a fordable point. Also it may it may have been used to ferry essential belongings/ elderly / unattended unwell beings etc...! If I am right these could be the earliest depiction of boats; followed by some other associated explanations.
Raghubir Singh Thakur, India
25/06/2016 21:10
5
0
Oh...the mysteries of life & the past...only God knows.

The rest of us can only ponder...


PS. But it is a great find.
Jaker, Dundalk
25/06/2016 10:26
1
2
The area has to be protected and preserved at least with a permanent webcam because many tourists (above all children or drunk) would find funny to destroy them using graffitti or any other mean.
Enrique, Spain
23/06/2016 17:59
8
0
The circle with the cross is a Comet that was breaking apart. The lines and dots are the pieces that entered the atmosphere. Campo Del Cielo in Argentina S.A. the site contains over 60 tons of nickel-iron meteorite, the largest piece is 37 tons in an area 2 miles by 12 miles long. There were 26 craters in that area. Scientists have dated the burnt wood under the meteorites at
2200 BC. There is a site in the USA also dated at 2200 BC that has very similar pictographs that show a comet
breaking apart. There was a very severe climate disruption at that time.
Tony, USA
23/06/2016 04:13
5
0
These images may be star maps as I believe ancient star maps have been found in French caves.
MICHAEL, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
22/06/2016 14:31
5
0
I see a Sudarshan chakra.
L Garou, usa
22/06/2016 10:15
3
0
Looks like Arabic script...
silver, us
22/06/2016 07:38
2
0
For a hint of what the petroglyphs are about, please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7EAlTcZFwY
Kuzma Minin, The Great White North
22/06/2016 07:27
1
0
This looks very similar to the design on the rock and the hat. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=norway+bronze+age+pictoglyphs&view=detailv2&&id=7060FE9CC49D1E85B4FD46065C422D6553ABE7C1&selectedIndex=108&ccid=QLEAJYQT&simid=608008224433374668&thid=OIP.M40b100258413846837752f873f595cb4o0&ajaxhist=0
Mike O'Connor, Canada
22/06/2016 01:14
1
0
Art work reminds me of some ancient Norway art work.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=norway+bronze+age+pictoglyphs&qpvt=norway+bronze+age+pictoglyphs&qpvt=norway+bronze+age+pictoglyphs&qpvt=norway+bronze+age+pictoglyphs&FORM=IGRE
M. O'Connor, Canada
21/06/2016 19:11
2
0
Figuras humanas iguales a la mayoría de las encontradas en casi todas las sierras de la Peninsula Iberica.
Andres Morales Guille , España
21/06/2016 14:16
1
0
spots in series of 5's and 8's could be a calendar.
Bill, Albion USA
21/06/2016 06:01
9
0
12

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