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

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2021 Volume XXVII

doi: 10.17746/2658-6193.2021.27.0488-0496

УДК 902/904

Study of Petroglyphs in the Lower Reaches of the Chuya River in the Altai

Kubarev G.V.

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This article describes the results of author’s work on searching, copying, and interpreting new petroglyphs and inscriptions in the lower reaches of the Chuya River (Ongudaysky District of the Altai Republic) as well as documenting engraved images at the well-known petroglyphic site of Kalbak-Tash I. Despite over a century of studying the petroglyphs at Kalbak-Tash and its monographic publications by V.D. Kubarev, the surfaces with engraved drawings have remained unprocessed or quality of their copying was not high enough. The author briefly examines the history of research into the Kalbak-Tash I petroglyphs, including the works of various scholars on copying the engravings at that site in the recent years. The article discusses technical difficulties in copying fine engravings on rocks, especially if they are a part of large compositions of different periods. History of elaborating techniques for copying engravings and use of both transparent materials and digital photography for this purpose is provided. The author concludes that the best technique for large compositions is to use them as a whole. Preliminary results of coping large engraved compositions on the surfaces of rock I at Kalbak-Tash are presented. Most likely, two chronological layers of overlapping engravings can be distinguished: the Hunnic period and Early Middle Ages. On one of the surfaces, the author discovered and copied a new rune-like inscription. The survey which was conducted on the right bank of the Chuya River in the area from the cliffy bank of Kalbak-Tash to the village of Iodro resulted in discovering new compact petroglyphic sites and two inscriptions (a rune-like line and inscription made in the Uighur script in black paint). The main cluster of petroglyphs from the Iodro site, including the central multi-row tiered composition, belongs to the Bronze Age - Early Iron Age. However, Early Medieval images of deer were also found there.


Altai, petroglyphs, engraving, Kalbak-Tash, Iodro, multi-row tiered composition, Bronze Age, Scythian and Ancient Turkic periods

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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