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An Ancient Touchstone Outside of Baku by Dimitar Sivkov





An Ancient Touchstone Outside of Baku by
Article Posted: 11/30/2011
Article Views: 152
Articles Written: 253
Word Count: 339
Article Votes: 0
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An Ancient Touchstone Outside of Baku


 
Travel & Tourism
It is rare to find three wonders in one place. Yet this is exactly what you can see at Gobustan National Park in Azerbaijan. Positioned only 40 miles southwest of the centre of Baku, Gobustan offers an amazing day trip. So settle into one of the many Baku hotels for a good night of rest and set out early the next day. There is much to see. Gobustan was a hive of human activity following the last Ice Age and what remains today is a window into that ancient world. The remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials, but above all the all the petroglyphs and rock engravings help us to see a way of life long since disappeared. Gobustan has more than 6,000 rock engravings, some up to 40,000 years old. They depict primitive men, animals, dances, bullfights, boats with armed oarsmen, warriors with lances, and camel caravans. In 2007, Gobustan was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its rock art engravings lauded as being of “outstanding universal value.” Gobustan is also the site of a natural musical stone, one which was used by the ancient artists for their musical endeavours. Called Gaval Dash, the rock is only found in Gobustan. When struck even lightly with a small stone, the Gaval Dash rings out like a tambourine. The Gaval Dash have been formed from the region’s unique climate and the presence of oil and gas. Lastly, Gobutan and a larger portion of Azerbaijan’s Caspian coast is home to nearly 400 mud volcanoes. This represents more than half of the total mud volcanoes in the world. These volcanoes can shoot flames and mud hundred of metres into the air. Once back in your Baku hotel you can reflect on the touchstones you have seen, ancient pictures of your ancestors, stones that they too stuck to make music, and mud they too bathed in for its medicinal value. It is this continuity between the ancient past and the present that truly makes this site a wonder.


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