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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

Gobustan Archeological Park

AZERBAIJAN | Friday, 17 July 2015 | Views [411]

Dancing men, Gobustan Archeological Park

Dancing men, Gobustan Archeological Park

THERE IS ART ALMOST ANYWHERE YOU TURN in Baku.  Street sculptures, beautiful carpets, hidden statues, and Jayran, the art-deco antelope, Baku’s most recent symbol.  

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     Baku street art

But art is nothing new to Azerbaijan.  For more than 10,000 years — some scientists estimate as long as 20,000 — humans have been creating art in the region, carving human forms, boats and animals into the abundant rock.  We were able to hire a car and driver for the morning to visit Gobustan Archeological Park, ticking another World Heritage Site off our list.  And we weren’t the only visitors.  Five National Guardsmen from Oklahoma were visiting their state partner, Azerbaijan, the same job Connie once held in Colorado for Slovenia.  Small world, no?

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    What does it mean?

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               Horses, horses, horses

The world seemed even smaller when we looked at the WHS museum display of protected rock art sites around the world and realized how many we have visited.  From Newspaper Rock in Utah to Kakadu in Australia, sites in Spain, Italy, Botswana, Norway and more.  Another difference with this display was the opportunity for interpretation of the symbols.  These archeologists admitted that they couldn’t get into the minds of the artists, that the aurochs pictured could symbolized successful hunts or be a talisman of future hunts.  Or sometimes and auroch might just be an auroch.

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    Sometimes and auroch is just an auroch

After Gobustan our driver reluctantly negotiated the rutted track to the “mud volcano,” a gray mass of mud with sputtering steam vents, bubbling mud pots and muddy flows.  More surprising were the pools of black oil seeping through the low areas.  Crude, to be sure.

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   Ready to pop

 

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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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