Eshkiolmes rock paintings
By the number of images, this is the largest cluster in Kazakhstan. There are finds from the Bronze Age (XIII century BC) to the 19th century AD. Experts distinguish periods by design and application technique: the most ancient drawings are made in the "obese" style: the bodies of animals look like such shaded "boxes" with head and legs. Drawings from the beginning of the 1st millennium and the Saka period are more vivid - the figures of deer, goats and horses are beautiful and realistic, many animals are shown in motion. By the way, the technique of "tracing" appeared at the same time - apparently due to the appearance of a tool made of a harder metal. Therefore, horses' manes and tails appeared in the form of diverging lines. Moreover, they were often added to older images. The scene of the hunt of a horseman with a lasso presented here is interesting - the rope with a noose is shown just by a deep notch. And also a rather rare depiction of deer antlers in the form of a "tree of life".
We also singled out drawings with figures of people in a separate group: a medieval warrior in a chain mail dress with a bow and a quiver of arrows, a nomad with a tazy dog on a leash, a drawing of a battle with a man with a huge club in his hand, and a unique image of a woman in labor. Such an image of a woman in labor, according to archaeological reports, is found only in Eskiolmes and only in some places. This is the figure of a big man, from which the arms and legs of the little man stick out. And in the navel area - a hollowed out hole.
Many scenes of ritual actions immortalized in stone can be found here. One drawing (shown below) with four characters likely performing a sacrifice. Two people in the center are carrying a carcass over their heads, two at the edges, judging by their posture and some sexual characteristics, apparently personify the priests of fertility. Above them is the figure of a camel. Another scene is a shaman with a dog or a wolf. The shaman can be recognized by the unnaturally long fingers (we have already seen such images of priests / shamans with long fingers, with a tail, in the skin of porcupines, etc.). And we also liked one very clear and unusually large image of a solar sign (or a wheel?).
Among the thousands of rock carvings in the Eshkiolmes mountains, there are also everyday sketches: for example, as in the photographs with carts presented below. On one, two oxen are harnessed to the cart, on the other, on the reins in front of the cart there are 4 horses (and there are obviously foals on the sides).
During our expedition to Eshkiolmes, we also photographed the excavation of an ancient dwelling. It has been established that there were at least 2 settlements under the ridge - the valley of the Koksu River in the lower reaches, apparently, from ancient times attracted people with fertility and beauty.