Deviate from the traditional tourist route in Uzbekistan and you’ll find incredible ancient rock art.
Just 45 kilometres north-east of the city of Navoi you can discover a unique gallery of rock paintings in the fertile Sarmyshsay Gorge.
The size of Sarmyshsay’s ancient art gallery is truly enormous: 20 square kilometres with more than 5,000 images. Most of the petroglyphs are carved on the rocks that surround the Sarmyshsay and date back to the Bronze Age. They allow us a detailed look into the past, what nature was like in the gorge itself, and how it changed from five to seven thousand years ago until the present day. Almost all the wild animals that lived in the area ended up on the stone walls of the unique “Red Book”. There are images of bulls, deers and goats, which belong to the Stone and Bronze Ages.
But you can also find petroglyphs of a later period, dating back to the Middle Ages. They depict medieval domestic goats, camels, dogs, Arabic inscriptions, as well as equestrians and hunting scenes.