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Mesolithic

Zaraut-Kamar

 

In the south-western spurs of the Gissar range (Uzbekistan) in Kugitang mountains, about 2000 m above the sea, in the canyon Zaraut-Sai there is a monument, widely known not only among specialists-archaeologists - Zaraut- Kamar grotto. The paintings of the grotto were discovered in 1939 by local hunter I.F.Lamaev, repeatedly published and studied in details by different authors. Primary conclusions that the paintings were dated to the Palaeolithic proved to be erroneous. A.A.Formozov assumes that the paintings are dated to Mesolithic, not earlier, in any case.

The paintings in the grotto are made with ochre of different colours (from red-brown to light-purple) and consist of four groups of depictions of anthropomorphs and bulls. Here you can see the third, the largest ( more than 60 cm in diameter) group of depictions, showing, as many researchers admit, a scene of a bull-hunting. There are two types of anthropomorphic figures or "hunters", surrounding a bull: figures in robes, expanded downwards, without bows and "tailed" figures, looking very much like these on the similar fresco from Catal-Huyuk with raised and tightened bows. All the figures of the first type have some objects, projecting from under the robes: sticks with the ends turned up. This scene can be interpreted in different ways: as a real hunting of disguised hunters and as a certain myth from the cycle which has already been discussed while speaking about Lascaux "corrida".

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