Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2019 Volume XXV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2019.25.345-352

УДК 903.27(904/930.271)

Field Research at the Wujiachuan Rock Art Site in Jingyuan County of Gansu Province, China, in the Summer of 2019

Varenov A.V., Kudinova M.A., Solovyev A.I.

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A report on the field trip to Gansu Province of China in July 2019 is presented in this article. During the trip, the authors consulted with local experts in Chinese rock art from the Northwestern Pedagogical University, took part in a scholarly seminar, “Archaeological Study of Ancient and Medieval Rock Art, ”and visited the Historical Museum of Gansu Province, Museum of Northwestern University, and the Wujiachuan rock art site in Jingyuan County of the Gansu Province. The site was discovered in 1976 and its description was published in 1983. The site is not large: it contains two surfaces with images and a single animal representation on a separate rock. Images of deer and goats as well as modern inscriptions made with Chinese characters appear on the eastern surface. In addition to deer and goats, western surface shows at least eight pecked horsemen and several anthropomorphic figures. At least six riders and one standing (or seated) person are shown wearing three-horned headdresses. The authors argue that the site can be dated to the period from the beginning of the Common Era through the Advanced Middle Ages. The parallels to the “three-horned” images from the Wujiachuan rock art site can be found both in the art of Old Turkic Kudyrge burial ground and in pecked rock representations from the Chu-Ili Interfluve, in graffiti of Northern Khakassia and eastern part of the Russian Altai. Possible interpretation of one of the figures as a solar deity or shaman has been discussed.


Northwest China, Gansu Province, archaeology, rock art, Wujiachuan site

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

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Academician V.I. Molodin

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