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IN PURSUIT OF THE ELUSIVE GOAT: Prehistoric Rock Art in the Syunik Mountains of Southern Armenia By Tina Walkling

  • Nevart Gulbenkian Hall Iverna Gardens London, England, W8 6TP United Kingdom (map)

Armenia is home to a rich and varied corpus of prehistoric rock art, many sites beinglocated high in the mountains at elevations above 2500 meters.  Recently the Ughtasar Rock Art Project set up by an Armenian-British team completed a systematic survey of nearly 1000 carved rocks within their landscape context, the spectacular caldera of Ughtasar in the Syunik Mountains of southern Armenia.  At a height of nearly 3300 metres the site is snowbound and inaccessible for nine months of the year. Here are thousands of figurative and abstract motifs pecked onto the dark reflective surfaces of glaciated basalt rocks and boulders.  Perhaps most striking are the wild mountain goats with massively exaggerated horns which make up 65% of the figurative motifs throughout the study area. Dating is problematic but a small number of wheeled transport motifs suggest a possible Bronze Age date for some of the carvings.

Admission: £5 (to include refreshments)

Tina Walkling, BA, MA, LRPS, art historian, archaeologist & photographer, has worked in fine art publishing and as a photographer before taking up archaeology and gaining her MA at the University of Reading.  She specialises mainly in rock art research.  With her co-director, Anna Khechoyan, she shares a passionate interest in Armenian rock art, a sense of adventure and a love of the mountains of Armenia. She also has a keen interest in zoo-archaeology, environmental archaeology and landscape archaeology. Tina is a founder and co-director of the Ughtasar Rock Art Project.