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

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2019 Volume XXV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2019.25.562-567

УДК 902

Petroglyphs near the Village of Yodro, the Altai Republic (Preliminary Communication)

Polosmak N.V., Yamaeva E.E.

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Despite many years of successful studies of petroglyphs in the Altai Mountains, there are still many rock art sites unknown to scholars and unanswered questions in this region. Discovery of new rock art sites is always important. Thus, the discovery of a remarkable rock art site at the Suulu-Seertpek locality has brought to light one of the most contradictory and amazing characters of the Bronze Age in Central Asia - male figures with mushroom-shaped headdresses. The authors offer their own interpretation of these images for discussion. In our opinion, these figures can be considered to be the representatives of a cultural community distinguished by special outfit - everyday rather than ritual - and by a special style of artistic tradition. These distinctive figures mark a vast geographical area of distribution of an unknown culture, which embraced the Altai-Sayan region, Mongolia, Northern China, and East Kazakhstan, spreading as far as Khakassia in the north and Ladakh (Indian Himalayas) in the south. The polyfunctional nature of the images reflects the circle of their activities: hunting, herding, warfare, and sacrificial offerings. The distribution of this culture appears to have been associated with the mountain systems of Central Asia, while the Altai-Sayan region must have been its point of origin. Of special interest is their route through the southwestern and southern oases of Xinjiang, the places passed through for centuries by warriors, pilgrims and merchants on their route to India. This migration must have begun as early as the second millennium BC.


new petroglyphic site, Altai, Bronze Age, anthropomorphic images with mushroom-shaped headdresses

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

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Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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