Tattooed Eurasia

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Tattoo as a means of seduction, communication and rise, has not came into vogue today. Body of primitive man was entirely covered with magical symbols and signs. The first explorers of the Pacific Islands have been amazed by the scale and artistic merit of "tattoo" of Polynesians, Papuans, Tahitians and residents of the Far East. Recent findings of frozen mummies in the Altai mounds tell us that the art of tattooing the body was the most important of all the others in the center of Eurasia in the olden days.

But here, in steppes, not only the human skin, but the stone skin of the earth were exposed to "artistic rethink". Accumulations of rock engravings - petroglyphs, many of them have thousands of characters, can be attributed to the top of the monument of human culture.

Tamgaly, Khan Tau Yeshkiolmes, Mangishlak (all of these are in Kazakhstan, but there are the same in Tuva, Mongolia, Altai, Siberia and northwestern China) are an artsy belt with mysterious and quaint signs that girded the Steppe. Extant images brought to us what our ancestors wanted to share through tens of centuries. Unconsciously (or not?) they created all of this in such a long-lasting and durable to tricky nature technique.

Stone collection of images retained even the looks of some steppe inhabitants that did not survive to these days. For example, you can find here primitive aurochs and its main natural opponent -the tiger.

But take this entire abundance of signs as an artless narrative of the steppe primitive inhabitants life is like "read" Pushkin in comics.

Collection of petroglyphs is like wide-open to the future soul of the distant ancestors. Each image is an esoteric sign, encrypted symbol and rebus; if we can solve that, we can understand not only the attitude of the ancients to life, but also imagine the world as they saw it once.

Humanity is seeking a way out of its eternal spiritual impasse with extreme desperation, so no wonder that attention to all of this became more than keen in recent years.

Steppe petroglyphs are being studied and "mastered" not only by local enthusiasts, artists and esoterics, but also by very serious and long-term scientific expeditions, including ones under the aegis of UNESCO.

However, the antiquity of petroglyphs is a loose concept. Rock altars were not getting "cold" for millennia. New eras only added to the "foregoing" their insights and discoveries. And the "new" and "old" are side by side to each other and so closely that "fresh" images often overlap with older one.

You can find an ancient image of aurochs in the famous gorge Tamgaly, it was worshiped by people of the "Bronze Age". After many centuries, while the spiritual priorities changed, early nomads "remade" aurochs to stallion. But then again centuries had passed, and Turks appeared on the historical stage and they "tamed" the horse and "put" a rider on it.

And it is known that Abylkhan Kasteev, one of the first Kazakhstan artists, began his exercises exactly as many generations of his ancestors did - scratched images on the rocks.

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