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A depiction of a ritualistic dance from the petroglyphs of Syunik, Armenia

A depiction of a ritualistic dance (early form of Yarkhushta style) from the petroglyphs of Syunik.

This dance was performed at least 15,000 years ago.

Armenian Rock Art Research Academy – Local Sites

Ughtasar: The Petroglyphs of Armenia

One of Armenia’s least known and interesting attractions is to be found at the top of Ughatasar Mountain. Aside from the natural beauty of the mountaintop valley, the views and the small lake, there is an abundance of ancient petroglyphs which are between four and seven thousand years old.

Rock—carvings are a unique source for the study of ancient culture. Discovered on the territory of Armenia, they have been know as “Itsagir”, i.e., goat-letters, and though they attracted the attention of certain investigators at the beginning of the 20th century, they were not studied at that time. Interest in rock art monuments grew during the first decades of the 20th century, when A. Kalantar indulged himself in their study. Unfortunately, very little has been preserved from the rich material collected by him. A. P. Deniyokhin also took part in the discovery of rock carvings in Armenia. During field studies the archaeologist S.H. Sardarian has discovered numerous rock carvings on the slopes of Aragats and the Gueghama mountains.

Ughatasar Mountain has a crater on top that is filled with boulders covered in petroglyphs.  Thousands of them.  These caveman carvings etched into the stones show scenes of people, animals, hunting, dancing and other things you cannot even descipher.  Once you get up there, after traveling so far off the roads, and not seeing any signs of human habitation, you feel like you’re transported to the land before time…  and indeed, considering these drawings are between 7 and 9,000 years old, you pretty much have been.

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