Located 60 kilometers from Baku is the open- air museum - The State Historical-Artistic Reserve “Qobustan”. There, on the site of ancient primitive people, you’ll see a lot of rock art pieces - petroglyphs. These rock paintings reflect the culture, economy, philosophy, customs and traditions of ancient people.
“Qobu” translated from Azerbaijani, means a ravine, narrow, hence Qobustan - the place of narrows and ravines. The rock paintings there were found in the 1930's, the exploration of the area is still in progress. Archaeologists found more than 6,000 drawings on 1,000 rocks, ancient dwellings - caves and sites, about 40 mounds and more than 100,000 artifacts. The oldest of the found images belong to the Mesolithic era, but the scientists suppose that life existed there much earlier and can be dated far back, consequently Gobustan can be considered of the cradles of civilization.
The petroglyphs of Gobustan can be regarded as a teaching aid narrating about the evolution of the man. The drawings made in the Mesolithic depict the hunt for mountain goat and ritual dancing with spears. The images of a later period, the first century AD, show the scenes of on horse and on-foot hunting as well as battle scenes, the scenes of collective labor, harvesting and women by the hearth. The pictures closer to the middle ages are smaller in size and more schematic.
The rock art features drawings of animals that lived there during the last 10,000 years - gazelles, wild goats, deer, wild pigs, horses and lions. There are also images of birds, fish, snakes, lizards and insects.
Other images show boats with oarsmen, which proves that the early settlers were sailors. In addition to the remarkable ancient drawings there is a Latin inscription discovered at the foot of the Mount Boyuk-dash dating back the 1st century AD, which testifies to the presence of Roman legions near Baku.
Qobustan is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.