Art of the ancestors: coloured petroglyphs in Armenia
“The history of the land of Armenians comes from ancient times” and this is one of the first things a traveller to Armenia will learn. So, don’t miss your chance to check traces of the past and go into a deep spiritual connection with old times.
Petroglyphs in Armenia (also called rock-carvings, rock-paintings or rock-art) have great attractiveness not only for archaeologists, but also tourists. One can find them on the slopes of the volcanic mountain systems of Armenia such as Aragats, Gegham, Vardenis, Djermouk and Syunik, which are covered with the traces of civilization and can show all the beauty of the very first “minimalist art” of Armenian ancestors.
Photo by Armenuhy Hovakimyan
Here is a brief presentation about one of the caves on the slopes of Mount Aragats (Aragatsotn Province) inside the canyon of Kasakh River, the tributary of Arax River. It is one of the most beautiful canyons with basalt layers that has magical view in each season. Here is a beautiful winter view of it:
In the cave named “Red” one can find images painted with red ocher that probably belong to the Mesolithic up to Iron age (XI – I Millennia B.C.). Going deeper into the cave you can find springs of drinking water that are frozen in winter.
Paintings are situated on the basalt slabs both inside and outside of the shelter. They seem to be part of “interior and exterior design” of ancient people.
Within illustrations of Katsakh canyon’s cave various species of wild animals, a huge number of large and small groups and their diversity are especially noteworthy. Many paintings of goats can be found on the stones consisting of red design in medium size located on the height starting from 40 cm to 6.5 meters.
Both isolated figures as well as simple compositional scenes can be found here as well.
Don’t be surprised if you see some Arabic inscriptions and graffiti in linear style that in some parts cover rock paintings and destroy them. They were made in relatively “new” times.
The old caves in Armenia are visited by both local and overseas sightseers, as well as archaeologists, who have documented more scientific information. To learn more about the Armenian petroglyphs, we suggest you to click here.
Are you interested in the ancient ‘art’? Have you seen some of them during your travel? We will be happy to know your experience. Please feel free to share it in comments.