I was in Baku from Sunday 21 February through
Wednesday 24 February and had the opportunity to take some time out to visit Gobustan. It’ a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 60km south west of Baku. Less than an hour drive.
The site is on an elevated plateau looking down to the Caspian Sea. There are over 6000 images of bovines, equines, mother
figures, hunters, boats, etc. Some measure several meter in length. The animals depicted need a moister climate than today. This suggests that at the time
of the drawings the climate was wetter with lush vegetation. The hills with the carvings were probably islands in the Caspian as the
Caspian Sea was much higher than it is today. This would also be suggested by the numerous boats that are depicted. The earliest ox carvings on Kichikdash mountain date from 34’000 BC!
One of the better known carvings is the one several meters of the ground of a group of people in two rows. The way of representing people is quite representative for a lot of the carvings of people on Boyukhdash mountain near the visitor center.
One of the more interesting
carvings is the one of pregnant women in profile. In addition pictures of tattooed women are
widespread across Gobustan. The resemble statues that were found in Gobustan dating to the upper
There are plenty of carvings of boats indicating that the sea must have
been much closer to the caves and rocks where people were carving as to give them a sufficiently close look. Therefore the Caspian Sea level must have been much higher than what it is today, probably by up to 80 meters.
I managed to see only a small sampling of the carvings the site has to offer so I will be back for more.
Last Updated: 27-02-2010
Copyright © 2012 Hans Dewaele – All rights reserved