Saimaluu-Tash Reserve Museum, Jalal-Abad Region

Saimaluu-Tash is located in Jalal-Abad Region, several days by horseback from the village of Kazarman. There are over 10,000 (perhaps even more) rock carvings found in this valley, located in the Fergana Range.

The petroglyphs here date back as early as 2000 or 3000 BCE, though some are as new as the 8th century CE, or even newer. In the Bronze Age, settlers had a tradition of inscribing stones wherever they lived, whereas by the Middle Ages, the site was sacred, and was a place for religious rites. Many designs feature ibex, horses, and wolves, plus various hunting scenes, where hunters chase after deer with bows and spears. There are also scenes of farmers tilling the land, and some stylized images of sun and moon people, and dancing demons.

Since Saimaluu-Tash is located so far from other places, and is only accessible through a long trek in the summer months when there is no snow, it hasn’t been fully studied. The Institute of Archaeology in Bishkek has carried out sporadic research, but the site hasn’t been completely catalogued.