Throwback Thursday! Perfectly Preserved Petroglyphs

Siberian petroglyphs. Image taken by Sergei Alkin.

Siberian petroglyphs. Image taken by Sergei Alkin.

It is said “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but some pictures are worth much more than that. Some ancient pictures are worth a thousand years of history and knowledge. These images tell stories about our ancestors and they help us to understand our past.

Recently, a fascinating find in Siberia was revealed for the first time and it provides a 4,000-year-old window into the ancient past. When scientists were alerted to its presence three years ago, they decided to keep it a secret in order to protect the site while they studied and cataloged its treasures. Now, for the first time, its location has been made public and our eager eyes can feast upon the perfectly preserved art.

The ancient site sits on the Largi River in Siberia and it holds over 20 petroglyphs from the Bronze Age.

There are ancient images of humans, a bull, a trees and birds in 20-plus ‘perfectly preserved’  petroglyphs in a remote spot in TransBaikal region. Most intriguing in the newly revealed rock art is a figurine and nearby a human-like image is a circle, seemingly a sign of the sun.

Scientist Sergei Alkin said: ‘We can assume that the figure with the solar sign depicts a shaman with a drum.’[1]

The scientists are now starting the difficult and exciting process of interpreting the images and even studying the chemical composition of the natural ocher dye in order to locate the source of the raw material. There is so much still to learn!

For more information on this story, read 4,000 year old art gallery found in Siberia.

An example of Aboriginal hand stencil rock art.

An example of Aboriginal hand stencil rock art.

And for even more fun with petroglyphs and pictograms, check out our Kids’ Blog Post, Picture This: Pictograms and Petroglyphs and the Stories They Tell! And don’t miss the fun activities at the end of the post. You can experience what it was like for our ancient ancestors to make petroglyphs and pictograms to tell their stories.

[1] 4,000 year old art gallery found in Siberia. (n.d.). Retrieved June 23, 2016, from

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