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Gobustan Reserve: wonderful destination to explore for history buffs

04 November 2023 [17:37] - TODAY.AZ
Laman Ismayilova

Gobustan State Historical-Artistic Reserve is a destination that should be at the top of any history buff's list.

The area has been inhabited for thousands of years and boasts over 600,000 distinct paintings, ranging from 20,000 years old to as recent as 5,000 years ago. In 2007, Gobustan was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Among the 6,000 drawings found in Gobustan are petroglyphs - stone and iron-age figures depicting hunting scenes, ceremonies, and rituals.

The famous explorer Thor Heyerdahl investigated the Gobustan petroglyphs and concluded that the oldest known images of a pirogue boat are found there.

He also made a sensational hypothesis about a connection between Norwegians and Azerbaijanis, suggesting that the ancestors of Scandinavians migrated from Azerbaijan.

Most of the rock engravings in Gobustan depict primitive men, animals, battle scenes, and other cultural practices.

In addition to the petroglyphs, visitors can see the musical gemstone known as Gaval Dash, which produces a tambourine-like sound when struck in various places.

Many Azerbaijani musicians have used Gaval Dash to create wonderful music pieces.

The musical stone and the Yall? chain dance were also featured in the interval act of the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 held in Baku.

There is also a stone slab with a Latin inscription from the first century, left behind by the 12th Roman legion of Emperor Domitian, indicating their stay in the area.

Gobustan has been granted national status since 2006.

The reserve's main goal is to safeguard the ancient rock carvings and burial mounds found in the area.

Every year, this awe-inspiring open-air museum attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world.

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