The sun came out and it was time to venture out of the City, but within only 30 minutes you reach Gobustan – A UNESCO World Heritage Site. An unbelievable treasure trove of ancient rock carvings and natural wonder.
Situated in the hills overlooking The Caspian Sea, the rocks tell a story of ancient man in astoundingly preserved detail. Just on the one hill even today there have been found over 6000 carvings dating from 5000 – 40,000 BC. Combine that with all the tools, weaponry and bones (many of which are shown in the fantastic hi tech new museum there) and you have history telling its tale before you. And way way back too!
The way of life back in the stone age can be understood so much better. Depicted in the carvings are animals such as bulls, gazelles, boar and much more. They have even uncovered an ancient rhino skeleton plus a carving depicting a 40m long fish. All goes to show the world and landscape was so very different for them.
The sea and sun obviously played an important role and the earliest depictions of boats in the world are here. Rituals and dance are shown by groups of men shown holding hands in ceremonial style as below here.
The picture here below has been dated as one of the oldest in the world found. It is the carving of a woman, symbolic with no head shown, exagerated bosom and hips. This particular carving has been dated to between 34,000 and 40,000 BC.
Not too far from these carvings you will come across the mud volcanoes. An incredible thing to witness I can say. Azerbaijan is actually home to 70% of the mud volcanoes in the world. On the drive up there the landscape becomes noteably more of a mud bath from the ages of mud eruptions.
Some huge, some small. The mud bubbles, boils and releases with a chorus of gurgling noises. A wonderful quirk of nature. Occasionally they are known to erupt fully sending fire and mud up into the air. Azerbaijan has mud volcanoes that reach over 200 metres in height. Every 20 years or so there is usually a large eruption.
This visit to Baku and Azerbaijan is throwing me spectacles and surprises every day. I cannot wait to see more