Saimaluu Tash 2007

Claus Dettelbacher

Saimaluu-Tash 2007
Impressions and Documentation

Saimaluu Tash is the local Turk-language name of a site in the southeast of todayʼs Kyrgyz Republic. Saimaluu Tash means “decorated stones” and consists of hundreds of strewn moraine-boulders at two close sites in the mountains of the Fergana range, between Tien Shan and Pamir. The carved stones lie on an altitude of about 3100 to 3400 m above sea level – sometimes in clusters of engravings, sometimes appearing on single stones. First I hesitated to put much like GPS Data on the web; for a simple reason: Despite the fact, that relatively few people visited the place until now (you have to organise a 4-WD plus driver, who knows the road, plus guide, who knows the path) - there is already a certain percentage of “forgery”- carvings among the old engravings on the scattered rocks of Saimaluu-Tash. These recent engravings stem partly from shepherds, who could at least claim to root in the tradition of the ancient; but a certain number of new decorations are obviously from tourists, who are dull enough to put their names and date, etc. just beside the older engravings. The worst way of pollution, I found, is to copy the style of the older pictures – maybe enriched by the knowledge of other Neolithic sites like Altamira and Lascaux. The latter case of “forgery” is by far the worst way of destruction, since it causes huge damage to the credibility of this unique and important site. By publishing this basic information – also to travellers – I strongly urge everybody who visits Saimaluu-Tash to hold back their ego and not leave their names, girlfriendʼs names or visiting-dates on the stones! Also please donʼt try to copy the ancient technique of carving on the stones at the site! Try it out, when you are back home! All together we have been 3 days on the site (25th to 27th July 2007). After a sunny welcome on the first afternoon, the following days covered us with unusual strong repeated thunderstorms, including hail; this kept us close to our tents and prevented us from exploring Saimaluu Tash II, another similar site, just 300m behind the next ridge. When we went back to the car, which waited at the Russian bee breederʼs house in the valley, the mountainʼ tops were already covered with fresh snow, as well as the pass at 3400 m, which we had to cross.


As a mountaineer for years. Little streams of water where flowing between the boggy abrasion material and the mud made it impossible for horses to cross – just letting us through by hopping and rushing over the quickly sinking stones on top. there was an unusual big amount of rain this year. I found descriptions of Saimaluu Tash on the internet. The best address to ask for guides is the CBT-office at Arslanbob. but definitely no real glaciers with the danger of crevasses. has taken the whole with of the dale – forming a swamp like environment. Our guide was Uigunbek Matkarimov. boots with a stiffer sole are recommended. there are some permanent snowfields below the pass. speaking of difficult access due to “glaciers”. who above his mountaineering experience in the local mountains and Siberia. ask for him and book as far in advance as possible! 2 . Some of their guides have already been in Saimaluu Tash. as well as maybe crampons in the early summer. this is a bit overrated. a man. The site seems to be visitable only for two months a year. the local shepherds confirmed. I think. At this particular part of the valley. So if possible. Nevertheless. this made it especially difficult to cross the section between waypoints 7 and 8. covered by pebbles and scree. is also working as a teacher and comes with a personal interest in the prehistoric sites. though they have a lack of stuff at the moment and seem to be forced to recruit too young and inexperienced people. a certain amount of fine mud.Saimaluu Tash 2007 Claus Dettelbacher However.

This does not mean more recent drawings from shepherds. Very common is an equally sized cross at the center. mostly by multiplying squares. The engravings are obviously made with other stones from the site. o Sun/cross symbols with different number of circles around or inside and different numbers of “rays” emanating from the centre. Similar engraving have been found in Europe and interpreted as astronomical marks. Also one clear swastika has been discovered. It is still an arduous 3h drive in the Lada Niva 4 WD from Jalalabad. Another issue is accessibility to the site. that the lower engravings might be older. Some fakes are easy to identify since they contain Russian and Latin letters. This looks very similar to the many connected circles at Saimaluu Tash. This includes not only jesters. but outdoor tourism is growing quickly in the relatively tourist friendly Kyrgyz Republic – as show the growth numbers of CBT for instance. Since the place demands the crossing of a 3 • • • • • • . which appear to display shamanistic procedures. though not at our will) There is currently only about 2 – 3 months time per year without snow cover. just to demonstrate how the drawings are made – I was quite shocked how endangered this site must be. Some boulders have engravings going into the soil surface and continue underneath. o Humans: Together with animals. Nourishing this interpretation are engravings in the Swiss Alps. However. Fakes: There are already fakes on the site. sometimes in pairs sometimes they seem to ride horses or hunt. o Deers o Snow Leopards with large claws o Two circles connected with a line. it takes about half an hour for some ibexes. water and scrambling rocks – but by tourists and/or people who could easily devour this site completely of its credibility. though there is a small hunting path leading to the site you still have to cross some creeks. maybe imitating ibexes. like for solstices. Common motives are: o Ibexes. not because of erosion by snow. further up they seem to prevail o Snakes or zigzag patterns. When our guide within 3 minutes pecked a very simple circle into the stone. o Mammoths (P1080776) o Camels o Cross patterns in rectangular form. making it very difficult to distinguish the old from the recent. One “sun” had a cross (4 rays) at the center and 7 rays at the outer sphere (P1080777). showing a circle connected with a half-moon like figure through a straight line. A commonly learned amateur with access to the internet and some of von Daenikenʼs books might nowadays easily have the skills to know what looks technically possible and what not….Saimaluu Tash 2007 Claus Dettelbacher Facts and thoughts about the engravings Our guide pointed out. but also anarchists. which turn out to become quite tricky after rainfall. Sometimes they come in double or triple line. Taking a sharper rock and pecking on the eroded surface of boulders. pataphysicians and not so honest New Age archeologists or ufologists. There are also some strange human motives. (This was demonstrated by our guide. at least they are more eroded. o Unstructured clouds of dots.

some are more open and without shelter. etc. which could be analyzed. the political situation in Kyrgyzstan is not so stable at the moment and the next spring revolution might further hinder access – given that the south. which has been sheltered from weather for thousands of years. The main problem seems to be the great variations of exposure to climate and erosion. Some drawings occur on light rock. • • • Groupings: It seems that there exist fields of boulders where certain motives prevail like ibex. Since Saimaluu Tash is not a cave site. However. Judging the drawings by their motives seems to be the only possibility by now to get a result. I checked the walls above and found not a single engraving. Despite that. Maybe there have been approaches of some well-intentioned amateurs to make eroded structures more visible again (?). There is a certain patina on the drawings. though we found at least 2-3 exceptions (of unknown time relation to the others). which are partly under the soil . Nevertheless. • • 4 . This is a stunning and somehow confusing fact. The only assumption you can make is that not many “intended fakers” have visited Saimaluu Tash by now. In my opinion this could hardly been the case. that many boulders bear engravings on two or three. It seems further. especially Fergana valley. even four sides. it might be possible to get a structure of the site and their age. Vegetation: lots of chive virtually everywhere. but obvious fakes with Latin or Russian letters (like “ИСАьЕЛ”) also have a certain patina – though maybe thinner. this is not a cave site. • How old? This is a very difficult question to answer. only the latter have been used for engravings. Boulders or rest of a wall/cave? Our guide made the proposal that the boulders might stem from an originally coherent wall or cave further up. it is really impossible to determine the age of an engraving by judging the geological appearance or erosion. which could possibly have been made during the last 100 or so years. some old-looking motives partly have no patina (!).Saimaluu Tash 2007 Claus Dettelbacher 3400 m high pass within one day coming from Jalalabad or Kazarman. is more instable than the Bishkek region. sometimes within a single motive like zigzag-lines or hunting scenes.excluding those. which might have served for liquids during offerings. or at least a single homogenous wall. deer. humans. By comparing them to approved “old” motives in cave art sites. It seems. Also the stone-surface is completely different up there. more massive rocks or walls above. he said. Maybe it is at least possible to excavate and compare some pictures. There are light colored stones and moraines of dark-shimmering stones. altitude sickness might be a problem too. Some rocks are quite protected. The engravings surround the stones. they might have come down by erosion and fallen apart through the same process. but they are rare. Another evidence against the one-wall theory is the fact. Occasionally we found little dints in the stone. but strewn boulders. that engravings are done on boulders only and not on solid matter – huge. nor can any C 14 dating be expected.

at. It would really boost our understanding of prehistoric cultures.passengers. 5 . Come to an opinion yourself! There are several other similar interesting prehistoric sites in Central Asia. you can find a lot of pictures from the stone-engravings and the surrounding landscape on my picture databank on www. Xingxiang or in the Altai mountains of western Mongolia and the adherent Russian provinces. if more international comparison between ʻstone-age artʼ would be carried out.Saimaluu Tash 2007 Claus Dettelbacher However. like in northern Pakistan.

Saimaluu Tash 2007 Claus Dettelbacher Approach 6 .

206 End of road 4 N41 09.868 E73 45.680 E73 46.602 Waypoint 7 N41 09.645 E73 48.064 Waypoint 9 N41 09.478 E73 44.864 E73 48.412 E73 48.804 E73 46.080 E73 36.631 Waypoint 17 N41 09.674 26 N41 10.700 31 N41 10.699 E73 48.457 E73 43.585 34 N41 10.521 45 N41 10.Saimaluu Tash 2007 Claus Dettelbacher GPS-Data all in WGS 84 Name Position Altitude 1757 m Description 25-JUL-07 12:00:07AM 25-JUL-07 12:16:10AM 25-JUL-07 12:50:43AM 25-JUL-07 1:18:43AM 25-JUL-07 1:36:14AM 25-JUL-07 1:51:40AM 25-JUL-07 2:00:13AM 25-JUL-07 2:15:05AM 25-JUL-07 2:23:07AM 25-JUL-07 2:38:04AM 25-JUL-07 3:22:58AM 25-JUL-07 3:35:23AM 25-JUL-07 3:43:43AM 25-JUL-07 4:01:49AM 25-JUL-07 4:29:05AM 25-JUL-07 4:52:35AM 25-JUL-07 5:09:08AM 25-JUL-07 5:56:51AM 25-JUL-07 6:22:35AM 25-JUL-07 6:26:41AM 25-JUL-07 6:28:42AM 25-JUL-07 6:31:19AM 25-JUL-07 6:32:45AM 25-JUL-07 6:38:05AM 25-JUL-07 6:40:26AM 25-JUL-07 6:44:21AM 25-JUL-07 7:07:41AM 25-JUL-07 7:17:44AM 25-JUL-07 7:36:20AM 25-JUL-07 7:54:21AM 25-JUL-07 7:59:31AM 25-JUL-07 8:07:28AM 25-JUL-07 8:13:34AM 25-JUL-07 9:53:50PM 25-JUL-07 10:11:17PM 25-JUL-07 10:14:50PM 26-JUL-07 3:21:06AM 26-JUL-07 3:27:53AM 26-JUL-07 3:36:01AM 26-JUL-07 3:41:48AM 26-JUL-07 3:44:53AM 26-JUL-07 3:55:39AM 26-JUL-07 4:05:31AM 26-JUL-07 4:08:02AM 26-JUL-07 4:12:14AM 26-JUL-07 4:16:33AM Road 1 N41 08.918 37 N41 10.012 Waypoint 6 N41 09.578 Waypoint 14 N41 09.584 40 N41 10.644 E73 48.220 Waypoint 12 N41 09.714 E73 46.676 32 N41 10.628 E73 48.380 E73 41.605 E73 48.360 E73 48.466 E73 48.864 Waypoint 15 N41 09.612 E73 48.886 35 N41 10.080 Waypoint 10 N41 09.809 Waypoint 11 N41 09.561 39 N41 10.398 20 N41 10.267 Waypoint 5 N41 09.079 Russian Bee Breeders 3 N41 09.641 E73 48.538 E73 48.975 E73 45.058 Road 2 N41 08.470 Waypoint 13 N41 09.383 22 N41 10.455 E73 48.621 25 N41 10.750 29 N41 10.626 43 N41 10.567 E73 44.743 30 N41 10.865 E73 45.640 E73 48.721 E73 46.586 E73 48.453 24 N41 10.861 E73 48.236 Waypoint 16 N41 09.440 23 N41 10.757 E73 47.664 33 N41 10.683 Our tent 27 N41 10.926 36 N41 10.589 41 N41 10.530 E73 44.769 E73 48.637 E73 48.900 Pass 18 N41 10.142 E73 48.725 E73 48.602 E73 48.626 E73 48.363 First engraving 19 N41 10.869 E73 48.651 E73 48.436 E73 48.931 E73 47.387 21 N41 10.656 E73 48.500 46 N41 10.789 Lake 28 N41 10.706 E73 48.480 1928 m 2033 m 2090 m 2142 m 2238 m 2345 m 2387 m 2485 m 2557 m 2669 m 2896 m 3063 m 3175 m 3448 m 3336 m 3294 m 3287 m 3262 m 3250 m 3230 m 3218 m 3215 m 3191 m 3171 m 3191 m 3201 m 3192 m 3178 m 3197 m 3229 m 3078 m 3090 m 3166 m 3180 m 3167 m 3157 m 3153 m 3138 m 3188 m 3193 m 3209 m 3199 m 7 .070 E73 36.950 Waypoint 8 N41 09.731 E73 48.606 42 N41 10.668 38 N41 10.630 E73 48.540 44 N41 10.828 E73 47.

717 E73 48.555 E73 48.643 E73 48.894 3199 m 26-JUL-07 6:40:07AM 65 N41 10.847 3170 m 26-JUL-07 7:04:13AM 71 N41 10.893 3150 m 26-JUL-07 7:31:18AM 76 N41 10.848 3182 m 26-JUL-07 6:10:07AM 62 N41 10.548 3251 m 26-JUL-07 4:25:36AM 49 N41 10.567 E73 48.889 3177 m 26-JUL-07 6:44:06AM 66 N41 10.666 E73 48.663 E73 48.892 3180 m 26-JUL-07 6:45:09AM 67 N41 10.816 3191 m 26-JUL-07 5:54:35AM 58 N41 10.527 E73 48.567 E73 48.711 E73 48.713 E73 48.704 3217 m 26-JUL-07 4:37:07AM 54 N41 10.694 3225 m 26-JUL-07 4:35:19AM 53 N41 10.629 E73 48.734 3218 m 26-JUL-07 4:45:33AM 57 N41 10.549 E73 48.556 E73 48.659 E73 48.475 3202 m 26-JUL-07 4:18:14AM 48 N41 10.876 3151 m 26-JUL-07 7:21:52AM 74 N41 10.839 3193 m 26-JUL-07 6:00:56AM 60 N41 10. I can also provide you with the corresponding photos.573 E73 48.534 E73 48.600 E73 48.903 3122 m 26-JUL-07 9:41:11PM * If needed.689 E73 48.Saimaluu Tash 2007 Claus Dettelbacher 47 N41 10.560 E73 48.661 E73 48.816 3215 m 26-JUL-07 6:25:40AM 64 N41 10.593 3236 m 26-JUL-07 4:30:28AM 50 N41 10.697 E73 48.636 E73 48.541 E73 48.881 3137 m 26-JUL-07 9:32:44PM 80 N41 10.717 3217 m 26-JUL-07 4:44:13AM 56 N41 10.859 3171 m 26-JUL-07 6:53:27AM 69 N41 10.678 3227 m 26-JUL-07 4:32:44AM 51 N41 10.634 E73 48.765 E73 48.902 3140 m 26-JUL-07 9:36:27PM 81 N41 10.851 3141 m 26-JUL-07 7:40:58AM Tent of Guides 78 N41 10.648 E73 48. 8 .626 E73 48.765 3190 m 26-JUL-07 7:51:43AM 79 N41 10.852 3210 m 26-JUL-07 6:20:00AM 63 N41 10.833 3169 m 26-JUL-07 5:56:55AM 59 N41 10.625 E73 48.748 E73 48.711 3213 m 26-JUL-07 4:40:28AM 55 N41 10.849 3178 m 26-JUL-07 6:58:15AM 70 N41 10.874 3177 m 26-JUL-07 7:10:59AM 72 N41 10.647 E73 48.886 3183 m 26-JUL-07 6:48:15AM 68 N41 10.702 E73 48.901 3160 m 26-JUL-07 7:17:53AM 73 N41 10.686 3230 m 26-JUL-07 4:33:44AM 52 N41 10. related to the above GPS-Point-cloud.629 E73 48.797 E73 48.656 E73 48.856 3149 m 26-JUL-07 7:27:50AM 75 N41 10.589 E73 48.829 3196 m 26-JUL-07 6:06:03AM 61 N41 10.886 3153 m 26-JUL-07 7:35:39AM 77 N41 10.

Richard L. Bhaktivedanta Book Publishing. UK 2005. / Thompson. Century. [ A compendium on various approaches on prehistoric art and its possible links to shamanism] • Cremo.Saimaluu Tash 2007 Claus Dettelbacher Bibliography • Hancock. [ An eye-opener and one of the most challenging and controversial scientific books on human prehistory during the last years. but also accurately reveals interesting facts about the intricate paths of the history of archaeology and anthropology as a science] 9 . Michael A.: Forbidden Archaeology – Hidden History of the Human Race. New Delhi 1993. It does not only deal with alternative theories on human origin. Graham: Supernatural – Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind.

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