Elangash

Elangash

30 000 petroglyphs



Elangash ( alt. jаlantash) — bare, without a forest, devoid of vegetation.

Елангаш и вершина ДжанииктуSee the message from the ancient times: drawings on the rocks, left by distant and unknown ancestors… however, not that much unknown. Scientists keep on unraveling the code of ancient artists, conditions of their contemporary life and ethnic types of tribes who have left their marks on the rocks of Elangash. And the puzzle is amazing: drawings of all the Turkic and Scythian cultures, which had been flourishing in the Altai for centuries, together or alternating, were found here. The oldest images that were carved on these rocks possibly are Neolithic. There are depictions of people, horsemen and warriors, scenes of hunting, shamans, various animals – some of which nowadays don`t occur in the Altai. There is an opinion that the phenomenal quantity and diversity of petroglyphs in the Elangash valley can be explained by the fact that for a long time and various epochs trade and migration routes invariably passed through the same valley. Though rock carvings are highly diverse here, drawings with animals usually are found especially fascinating. Sometimes they are schematic, and sometimes executed in a naturalistic and masterful manner. Images are not only static: many animals are shown in motion. Ancient artists managed to convey the character of

their models with a surprising realism. Indeed, deer are graceful and impetuous, bulls are huge and formidable, camels are slow and melancholic.

Also the place is incredibly picturesque. It fully justifies its name: you will not find a single tree here. However, in the upper reaches there are several lakes, and meadows are full of flowers: gentle edelweiss, mountain asters, piercing-blue gentians, modest buttercups, and many others.

Not only carved images of bulls you may see in the Elangash valley: a large herd of sarlyks lives here. These severe mountain bulls are shaggy as St. Bernard dogs and look clumsy at first sight – but they jump over the rocks like gracious roe-deer. They live at a height of not less than 1500 meters above sea level, so in the treeless valley of Elangash they are especially comfortable.

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