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History of Russia since ancient times

In this review on the online travel guide Geomerid you can read about the monuments of the history of Russia since ancient times. They are found in different places of the country. These are petroglyphs hollowed out on stones, the remains of the dwellings of ancient people, their burials and rock paintings of the Paleolithic era.

The Paleolithic period began 40 thousand years ago, and ended 10 thousand years ago. At that time there was the last Ice Age (25-17 thousand years ago). An overview of the history of Russia from ancient times refers to this period.

1. Kostenki Museum (Voronezh)
2. Kapova Cave (Bashkiria)
3. Petroglyphs of Kalbak-Tash (Altay)
4. Petroglyphs of Zalavruga (Karelia)
5. Petroglyphs of Aidar-kaya (Altay)
6. Akhshtyr cave (Sochi)
7. Pazyryk mounds (Altay)

Kostenki Museum (Voronezh) 

The main exhibit of the Kostenki museum is a dwelling of ancient men. The framework of the dwelling was made of mammoth bones. At the conserved site there were found about 573 bones, which could belong to 40 humans, as well as 16 pairs of mammoth skulls. Some of the skulls were sort of a foundation supporting the poles with mammoth hides stretched over them. The rest of the skulls were stored in the nearby five pits.

Numerous labor implements of ancient men and female figures of mammoth bones are also kept at the museum. It was even possible to reconstruct the appearance of ancient men by their skulls. You can also see there how a real mammoth looked.

In 2000 there were found the most ancient ornamental decorations in Eastern Europe. They were made of tubular bird bones. And in 2001 there was found the head of a human statuette made of mammoth tusk. Its approximate age is 35 000 years. As of today, it is the most ancient palaeolithic human sculpture in Europe.

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Kapova Cave (Bashkiria)

Kapova Cave in the Shulgan-Tash Nature Reserve is a unique monument of the Upper Paleolithic era. Kapova Cave is often called by the name of the reserve: "Shulgan-Tash Cave". It is a karst cave in Sarykuskan Mountain on the banks of the Belaya River. 

The Bashkir word Shulgan-Tash means "Lost under a stone". We are talking about the Shulgan River, which flows through the territory of the reserve, but 2.5 kilometers from the Kapova Cave it disappears under a stone, and then flows into karst cavities.

The length of the Kapova Cave reaches 3 kilometers. The first studies of the cave were made by geographer Pyotr Rychkov in 1760. He described Kapova Cave in sufficient detail in his essays. However, the real sensation in archaeology was the discovery that zoologist Alexander Ryumin made in 1959. In one of the halls of the cave, he found drawings of mammoths and other prehistoric animals that were painted on the walls of the cave with red ochre. In total, 195 drawings made by ancient people were found in the Kapova Cave. 

Radiocarbon analysis has shown that the rock carvings made by ancient people belong to the Upper Paleolithic era. The oldest drawings in the Kapova Cave were made about 18 thousand years ago. The last drawings were made about 14 thousand years ago. 

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Petroglyphs of Kalbak-Tash (Altay)

The Kalbak-Tash archaeological complex is one of the most important collections of rock petroglyphs not only in Altay, but all over the world. The earliest petroglyphs appeared here in the Neolithic era (6 thousand years BC). The latest petroglyphs of Kalbak-Tash are dated to the era of Turkic rule (7th century AD). 

Petroglyphs Kalbak-Tash means "Flat Stone" in translation. Here tourists can see the largest collection of rock petroglyphs in Altay, which are located on a hill above the Chuya Highway. Some of the subjects of the Kalbak-Tash rock petroglyphs look so fantastic that they still cause discussions in scientific circles. 

In the upper part of the central stone there is a completely mysterious image of people who look very much like aliens. There is a big man in the center. There are five other smaller people standing next to him. On their chests, images are clearly hollowed out, similar to television screens. The figures of these people are very unusual, as if they are in spacesuits, they all have tails. 

One of the versions concerning the appearance of these aliens on the stone Kalbak-Tash concerns the afterlife. Scientists suggest that this screen on the chest was a symbol of the portal through which the human soul goes to another world. A dragon is depicted above a group of "aliens", which is very similar to Chinese drawings. According to another version, it depicts a procession of men at the ritual of initiation of young men into warriors.  

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Petroglyphs of Zalavruga (Karelia)

Near the village of Vyg in the suburbs of Belomorsk there is a place called Zalavruga. This is a large stone plateau, elevated above the marshes, where ancient people drew dozens of petroglyphs. Petroglyph translated from Greek means petra - rock and glyphe - carving. Scientists conducted a thorough analysis of all the White Sea petroglyphs, and dated them to the 4-5th centuries BC, that is, the Neolithic era. 

In the 20th century petroglyphs were discovered in three places. The only petroglyphs available for visiting are in Zalavruga. There are also petroglyphs directly on the Belomorsk-Murmansk highway near the Belomorsky Canal. They are called Demonic Traces. The most famous White Sea petroglyph in Zalavruga is the "Archer". There are many plots of group and single hunting for moose and birds, as well as sea hunting from boats with a harpoon for killer whales.

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Petroglyphs of Adar-kaya (Altay)

The ancient site of Adar-Kaya (Adar-Kan) is located on the 728 kilometer of the Chuya Highway near the village of Iodro. On the surface of the rock here, you can see hundreds of Neolithic petroglyphs and in front of the rock is the main artifact - the Chuya Deer Stone. 

Chuya Deer Stone is made of slate stone slab. It does not exceed 2 meters in height. On the side of the Deer Stone, you can see the image of a Scythian warrior. This image has become a symbol of the prehistoric era of Altay. The images of the Scythian dagger akinak, a quiver of arrows, as well as a horse are carved in thin lines on the Chuya Deer Stone under the image of a warrior. The lines are very thin, because they were cut with iron tools. Scientists date this stone to about the 1st millennium BC.  

There are many images of earlier periods, the Neolithic Era and the Iron Age on the surface of the rock behind the Chuya Deer Stone. Scientists date these images by the type of stuffing. The most ancient images (6-4 millennium BC) were beaten out with stone tools, so they are made very roughly. With the advent of iron tools, images were stuffed with contours. The lines have become thinner and clearer. 

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Akhshtyr cave (Sochi)

The Akhshtyr Cave is located on the rocky bank of the Mzymta River between Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana. The distance from Sochi Olympic Park is 17 km, and from Krasnaya Polyana - 35 km. The cave is of great interest to scientists who study the life of primitive people, but ordinary tourists should not expect any incredible sensations or emotions here. If you are not accompanied by a guide, then you will see the whole cave in 10-15 minutes.  

Before entering the cave, read the information. Here you can learn about the cultural layers of the cave, which archaeologists have been excavating for decades of scientific activity since 1936. The cave became accessible 350 thousand years ago. The first people settled in the Akhshtyr cave about 112 thousand years BC. They were Neanderthals. Then the cave was uninhabited for some time and again people returned to it about 70 thousand years BC. Scientists draw these conclusions from the presence of traces of bonfires and objects of their weapons and everyday life in the cultural layers.

Archaeologists have found in the cave more than 6 thousand bones of prehistoric animals, various stone tools, stone arrowheads, and many other artifacts that are usually found in the sites of ancient people. The length of the cave reaches 120 meters. The arches at the entrance to the cave are low (1.5-2 meters), but then they become higher. It happened because more soil from later eras accumulated at the entrance. Inside the cave, there are no stalactites or other beauties that can be seen in deep caves, for example, in the nearby Vorontsov Cave.  

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Pazyryk mounds

The Pazyryk mounds are located on the Ulagan Highland. In the 19th century, 5 large royal burial mounds were found near the village of Balyktuyul, which belong to the period of the Iron Age (from the 5th to the 3rd century BC). The Pazyryk archaeological culture refers to nomadic tribes that settled in the mountainous regions of Altay before our era. It was named after the Pazyryk site on the Ulagan Highland, where 5 mounds were discovered in the 19th century.

Representatives of the Pazyryk culture lived on the Ulagan Highlands and the Ukok Plateau. They belong to the nomadic tribes of the Iranian-Samoyed ethnic group.

Archaeologists usually find objects made of iron, stones and bones of the deceased in burial mounds. However, in the Pazyryk Mounds, due to the subzero temperature, fabrics, wooden products, horse harness and many household items were found. Even the mummies of people have been preserved very well. A tent and wooden parts of wagons were found in one of the mounds. The pile carpet found in the Fifth Mound during excavations in 1949 has the greatest cultural value. The Pazyryk carpet is the oldest surviving carpet in the world. It was made between 5-2 centuries BC.

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