Kalbak-Tash

Ancient sanctuary Kalbak-Tash («hanging flat stone») is located on the right bank of the Chuya River, between Inya Village and Yodro Village. On the rocky flattened hill, located across Chuya Valley, more than 500 compositions, with more than 5000 drawings are left. All of them are stamped with stone or metal tools mainly used dot technique.

The most common images are pictures of animals: bulls, deer, wolves, leopards widespread in Altai. Also unknown predator image, a mysterious beasts probably existed several thousand years ago, or whether it was created by lush fantasy artist. Numerous hunting scenes are embossed on the rocks also.

Another themes for drawings are ritual actions. These petroglyphs shows tailed warriors, shamans and their mysterious beast Ker tyutpa which helped shamans to travel the underground world. Scientists correlated some of petroglyphs with subjects of Altai myths, while another petroglyphs was not be interpreted.

It is surprising that in addition to the symbolic figures of animals and people, many pictures show objects similar with spaceships with a capsule attached to the body at the top and with big flames at the bottom. Drawings of «spacecraft» painted bigger than images of people and animals. They are covered on horizontal plates and more blurred and erased, cause of bigger impact of natural factors and people visiting this place for many centuries.

    Petroglyphs in Kalbak Tash complex can be divided into several periods:
  • The Neolithic period (6-4 thousand years BC). Big figures of deer, goats and camels;
  • Period of the Chalcolithic-Bronze Age (3-1 thousand years BC). The biggest group of pictures is male and female figures, chariots and carts drawn by pack-oxen; drovers and warriors, fantastic predators and pets. Era includes «Altai chimera» as well;
  • Scythian period (VIII-III centuries BC). Petroglyphs with scenes of deer hunting, as well as many animal hunting - goats, wolves, dogs, feline predators;
  • Ancient Turkic period (VII-X century BC). Hunting scenes, interesting pictures of wild bulls and bears. Ancient Turkic runic inscriptions

Despite the availability of Kalbak-Tash petroglyphs, serious study of the scientific description was made only in the 80-ies of XX century. Although the monument Kalbak Tash was firstly discovered and partially described in 1912 by artist D.I. Kuznetsov and G. Gurkin. They made first sketches, starting the study of ancient monuments of Altai. The reason of such late discovery is explained by several reasons. The old trail of Chuiskyi path was held far above the modern road and rocks with petroglyphs were lower in the steep cliffs of Chuya River. Therefore researchers could not notice it. Second, earlier researches have confused location of tract introduced it as Kalbak-Tash which is really located in 7 km downstream the Chuya River. Eventually, name Kalbak-Tash was ket in archeology and popular scientific literature, because in accordance with Altai and Mongolian etymology Yalbak-Tash and Tash Kalbak literally can be translated as the same «wide, flat stone or a rock». The initial descriptions of the tract were scarе, scientists didn't realize the true significance of this monument for international archeology. After research in 80-90-s years Talbak Tash monument deservedly became one of the main centers of Altaian petroglyphs.