Roughly 100,000 peo­ple visit Go­bus­tan yearly

Azer News - - Country Guide - By La­man Is­may­ilova

This year, the Go­bus­tan State His­tor­i­cal-Artis­tic Re­serve marks the 50th an­niver­sary of its es­tab­lish­ment and 10th an­niver­sary of its in­clu­sion into the list of UNESCO World Cul­tural Her­itage.

Roughly 100,000 peo­ple vis­ited the Go­bus­tan State His­tor­i­cal-Artis­tic Re­serve, a home to the world’s most im­por­tant pet­ro­glyphs – stone and iron-age fig­ures carved thou­sands of years ago, in 2016.

Cul­ture and Tourism Min­is­ter Abul­faz Garayev said that the num­ber of tourists vis­it­ing Go­bus­tan, which has al­ready turned into the in­ter­est­ing touristy spot, has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly com­pared to pre­vi­ous pe­ri­ods.

"The pa­le­olithic rock carv­ings are rarely found in the world. A net­work of such places ex­ists in the world. Azer­bai­jan through Go­bus­tan joined this net­work, show­ing the world that the coun­try is home to one of the ear­li­est hu­man set­tle­ments in the world," said the min­is­ter at an event on June 13.

Garayev fur­ther stated that the Go­bus­tan State His­tor­i­cal-Artis­tic Re­serve has been in­cluded into the list of best Euro­pean Mu­se­ums.

Go­bus­tan is home to one of the world's largest an­cient pet­ro­glyphs col­lec­tions. Set­tled since the 8th mil­len­nium BC, the area con­tains more than 600,000 dis­tinct paint­ings, go­ing as far back as 20,000 years to as re­cent as 5,000 years ago.

The pic­tures dat­ing back to 8 mil­len­ni­ums re­flect dif­fer­ent hunt­ing scenes, ceremonial and rit­ual pro­cesses of the habi­tants of these places.

Go­bus­tan pet­ro­glyphs were re­peat­edly in­ves­ti­gated by the fa­mous Nor­we­gian ex­plorer and ad­ven­turer Thor Hey­er­dahl, who rec­og­nized lo­cal boats pet­ro­glyphs as the old­est known im­ages of pirogue in the world.

Most of the rock en­grav­ings de­pict prim­i­tive men, an­i­mals, bat­tle­pieces, rit­ual dances, bull­fights, boats with armed oars­men, war­riors with lances in their hands, camel car­a­vans, pic­tures of sun and stars.

The Go­bus­tan Na­tional His­tor­i­cal-Artis­tic Re­serve, meet­ing mod­ern re­quire­ments, ap­plies in­no­va­tive meth­ods to make a visit to Go­bus­tan more in­ter­est­ing as well as works out new projects. In this way stage adap­ta­tion and games for tourists and vis­i­tors are or­ga­nized.

Be­gin­ning since an­cient times up to mid­dle ages, the way of life, econ­omy, oc­cu­pa­tions of an­cient peo­ples, as well as land­scape, cli­mate, vari­abil­ity of en­vi­ron­ment, flora and fauna of that epoch found their re­flec­tion in the halls “Nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment”, “Ar­chae­ol­ogy of Go­bus­tan”,“Time-scale ta­ble”, “An­cient epoch” , “Prim­i­tive art”, “Pet­ro­glyphs of cen­turies” and oth­ers of the mod­ern mu­seum cre­ated here.

Rock im­ages of Go­bus­tan are the pride of Go­bus­tan res­i­dents. Since an­cient times, peo­ple that have lived in neigh­bor­ing ter­ri­to­ries con­sid­ered mountains with rock im­ages holy. On the ter­ri­tory of Go­bus­tan there still ex­ist worship places and sanc­tu­ar­ies of lo­cal res­i­dents (“Sofi Khamid”, “Sofi Novruz”, “Garaatli” and so on).

Go­bus­tan, as a part of rich her­itage of the World Rock Art, was in-

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