– photo by Egle Fox
“I wanted to visit Gobustan National Preserve in Azerbaijan for its rock formations. The National Preserve is known for the mud volcanoes and for the over 6000 rock paintings dating back 5000 – 20000 years. It is UNESCO World Heritage Sight. It was an exceptional experience!”
Straddling between Asia and Europe, Azerbaijan is located in the South Caucasus region. Along with its mountain scenery and Baku’s modern architecture, it is also home to several historic sites. The UNESCO world heritage listed Gobustan National Park (also known as Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape) is one of them.
Established in 1966, Gobustan National Park is located near Gobustan (also known as Qobustan), about 64 km southwest of Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. The region was declared as a national historical landmark in an attempt to preserve the ancient carvings, mud volcanoes and gas-stones in the region.
Gobustan’s rock art represents flora and fauna, hunting, lifestyles, and culture of prehistoric and medieval periods of time. The area comprises three rocky highlands and is home to over 6,000 rock art dating back between 5,000 to 40,000 years. The rock carvings illustrate primitive men, ritual dances, men with lances in their hands, animals, bull fights, camel caravans, and pictures of the sun and stars. In the national park, you will also find the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials sites from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages.
Gobustan has about 40% of all of the world’s mud volcanoes – a landform created by the eruption of mud, water and gases, and about 100 of them are located near the national park.
In Gobustan, you will also find ‘Gaval Dash’ – a natural musical stone, which produces musical sounds when touched or struck with a small stone. Found only in Gobustan, this resonant stone has been formed due to the combination of unique climate, oil and gas which is typical of this region of Azerbaijan.
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