Beldersay petroglyphs. Ancient art in Uzbekistan mountains
Not far from Tashkent in the outskirts of Chimgan and Beldersay recreation areas, there is a prehistoric monument - Beldersay petroglyphs. In some sources they are mentioned as Kumbel petroglyphs. These rock carvings situated at the height of 2450 meters (8000 feet) is one of many evidences of an ancient culture and life style of primitive people who lived on the territory of Uzbekistan and neighboring states.
Such monuments are dispersed over many Uzbekistan regions. They can be found in Chimgan, Hodjikent, Bashkilzilsay and other mountain areas. The most famous petroglyphs collection is, of course, the Sarmish-say canyon in the Nuratau mountains. However, while one rock carvings are investigated and are under the protection of corresponding organizations such as UNESCO, other are left neglected and suffer from vandalism actions (signs and ‘visit’ dates of light-minded tourists are carved over a thousand year pictures).
The Beldersay petroglyphs are situated relatively not far from the modern ‘civilization’ - 8 km from the Beldersay recreation area only. Some tours set themselves as an object to visit exactly these rock carvings.
Our group, consisting mainly of the Advantour travel agency staff, made a two days hike, the main aim of which was the visit, investigation and photography of this history monument. Valley of Beldersay river is very beautiful and there are wonderful views of the Big Chimgan mountain, opening from the surrounding hills. There are several excellent places for campgrounds placing on the left bank of the river. Thus, it is a suitable place for tracking.
However, the petroglyphs, situated 2 km from the base camp with a 850-900 (2800-2950 feet) height difference with it, are almost not investigated, or materials on them are still closed to the world. The age of the rock carvings on the ridge of the Beldersay hillside is still a big question. A big height, many years of sun effect in summer and of snow in winter make big difficulties for their age determination. Presumably the age of rock carvings varies from 6 to 10 thousand years and belongs to the late Stone Age epoch. Definitely, the Beldersay petroglyphs need to be investigated and to be saved as well as other prehistoric period monuments.