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azerbaijan | by Retlaw Snellac Photography
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Petroglyphs of Qobustan (Azerbaijan); a UNESCO World Heritage.


Settled since the 8th millennium BC, the area contains thousands of rock engravings spread over 100 square km depicting hunting scenes, people, ships, constellations, animals, etc. Qobustan's consecration in the world stage arrived in 2007, when UNESCO included the 'Qobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape' in the World Heritage list.

The oldest petroglyphs date from the 12th century BC. Later, the European invaders also left their marks: inscriptions left by Alexander the Great's cohorts in the 4th century BC and 2,000-year-old graffiti written by Trajan's Roman legionnaires!

The petroglyphs of Qobustan were discovered accidentally by quarry workers only in the 1930s. In addition to the rock carvings, traces of Mesolithic period occupation are to be seen, with numerous burial mounds and graves.

The local museum adjacent to the site houses the ornaments, flints, shells, ceramics, beads and primitive tools that were found inside the caves - often objects of non Caspian origin, evidence of ancient links with Europe and the Indian sub-continent. Based on the archeological finds and on content of the petroglyphs, recently it has be theorized that a connection exists between the ancient Azeris and the peoples of Scandinavia, which is not surprising at all, since some of the original habitants of the region, the Medes, were not a Turkic people, but an Indo-European people.


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Taken in September 2008