Monday, 20 November 2017

800-Year-Old Tombs Tell the Story of an Ancient Chinese Couple

From: LiveScience by Owen Jarus November 20, 2017

800-Year-Old Tombs Tell the Story of an Ancient Chinese Couple
Here, the rear wall of the coffin chamber in née Wu's tomb.
Credit: Photo courtesy Chinese Cultural Relics

Two 800-year-old tombs belonging to a man named Lord Hu Hong and his wife née Wu, who carried the title Lady of Virtue, have been discovered at a construction site in Qingyuan County, in China's Zhejiang province.
An inscription says that Hu Hong is the "Grand Master for Thorough Counsel." He and née Wu lived at a time when China was divided between two dynasties, with Hu Hong serving the southern Song dynasty that controlled southern China, according to the researchers who described the findings.
The lengthy inscription discussing Hu Hong's life was found inside his tomb. A translation of the inscription states that it "has been inscribed on this stone to be treasured here, in the hope it will last as long as heaven and earth!" 
Among Hu Hong's many duties was, in 1195, becoming "Investigating Censor prosecuting the treacherous and the heretical, with awe-inspiring justice," the inscription says. Historical records say that in 1195, the government launched a crackdown on a religious group called the Tao-hsueh, who criticized Chinese senior officials and emperors for drinking alcohol and having multiple wives and concubines according to a number of researchers who have written about this time period.
Jianming Zheng, a researcher with the Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, led the team of archaeologists who excavated the tombs. They discovered that Hu Hong's tomb had been robbed, but née Wu's tomb hadn’t. While inscriptions were found inside both tombs, the inscription in née Wu's tomb is illegible, archaeologists said.

Their bodies had almost completely decayed. A large amount of mercury was found within née Wu's tomb that "was probably used [unsuccessfully] to prevent decomposition," the archaeologists wrote in their journal article.
Inside both tombs, the archaeologists found porcelain jars decorated with elephant designs. And inside née Wu's tomb, they also discovered gold jewelry, gold combs, gold and silver hairpins and a crystal disc. [Photos: Terracotta Warriors Protect Secret Tomb]
This gold pendant was also found in née Wu's tomb. Archaeologists believe that it would have been attached to a vest.
Hu Hong was born in April 1147, and according to the inscription and historical records, his family was poor. His father taught Confucianism to the public, and his earlier ancestors were refugees who moved to Longquan County (which is near Qingyuan County) after much of China was engulfed in civil war during the 10th century, according to the inscription.
"Hu Hong loved learning, but his family was poor and had no money to buy books. When there were book peddlers passing by, he would borrow the books, read them overnight and return them the next day," the "Gazetteer of Chuzhou Prefecture," which was a text published in 1486, reads in translation.
Apparently, he showed "outstanding talent" as a child in school and, in 1163, passed a competitive series of government exams to get a junior position in the government according to the inscription found in Hu Hong’s tomb. He then rose gradually through the ranks. His career got a boost in 1179, when he agreed to serve on the southern Song dynasty's northern borders. In 1193, the government recognized him as "best county magistrate of the year," the inscription says.
As the "investigating censor," Hu Hong prosecuted the "treacherous and the heretical" in 1195, the inscription says. He was made a military commissioner in 1200 and was charged with defeating a group of rebels. "At the time, the Yao tribes were rebellious, and he stamped the rebels out," the inscription says. Today, the Yao live in China and Southeast Asia.
In his final years, Hu Hong was growing critical of his own government, and retired not long after 1200. "He knew that he was beyond his prime and insisted on retiring. Had he kept being outspoken, he would have been pushed out," the inscription says. [In Photos: 1,000-Year-Old Tomb With Colorful Murals Discovered in China]
"Although worried about current affairs and concerned with the moral decline of the time, and though he could not easily let go, he no longer had the energy to fight and serve," the inscription says. He died in 1203, and his wife died in 1206. Their tombs were built side by side. Hu Hong and née Wu had two sons, three daughters and two granddaughters, the inscription says.
The two tombs were discovered in March 2014. An article reporting the discovery was published in Chinese, in 2015 in the journal Wenwu. Recently, the article was translated into English and published in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics.

Beyond Scrolls and Codices: Manuscript Formats on the EasternSilk Road

Recording of one of the Mellon Sawyer lectures on Friday December 2, 2016

by Susan Whitfield
Director, International Dunhuang Project, British Library (IDP)

“Beyond Scrolls and Codices: Manuscript Formats on the Eastern Silk Road”

Manuscripts in the tens of thousand have been excavated from first millennium AD sites of the eastern Silk Road. On various local media — birchbark, wood, palm leaf, silk, paper and others — and in over twenty languages and scripts, they reflect the diversity of the cultures in this period and place. This paper introduces the range of manuscript formats, materials, languages and scripts, and discuss their diffusion along the Silk Road. It also considers the lack of diffusion of some unique formats used in specific contexts and only found for relatively brief periods.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

First results of the long term project on Kucha wall paintings in Leipzig on 24.11.2017

Monika Zin and Ines Konczak-Nagel present first results of the long term project on Kucha wall paintings in Leipzig on 24.11.2017 https://www.

von 11:15 bis 13:00
WoSächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Karl-Tauchnitz-Str. 1, 04107 Leipzig
Termin übernehmeniCal

Am Rande der Wüste – Buddhistischen Malereien der Kuča-Oase (ca. 5.-10. Jh.)

Prof. Dr. Monika Zin
Wenn der Buddha ins Nirvāṇa geht. Vorstellungen zum Fortbestehen der Lehre anhand der Malereien von Kuča
Dr. Ines Konczak-Nagel
Darstellung indischer Städte in den Malereien Kučas
Mit anschließender Diskussion. 
Interessenten sind herzlich willkommen.

Die buddhistischen Höhlenanlagen der an der Nördlichen Seidenstraße gelegenen Kuča-Region (Uigurisches Autonomes Gebiet Xinjiang, VR China) wurden insbesondere wegen ihrer beeindruckenden Wandmalereien im Jahr 2014 ins UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe aufgenommen. Die ca. zwischen dem 5. und 10. Jh. entstanden Malereien gehören zu den wichtigsten Quellen für die Erforschung der transkulturellen Vernetzung des antiken Königreichs von Kuča. Denn obwohl sie in enger Beziehung zur Kunst Indiens stehen, sind sie in einem Stil ausgearbeitet, der gemischt ist mit Elementen aus dem Mittelmeer- und dem syrisch-iranischen Raum sowie später aus Ostasien. Die Malereien zeigen narrative und devotionale Themen, wie Szenen buddhistischer Erzählungen und Legenden oder Bildnisse von Buddhas, Bodhisatvas und Gottheiten. Darüber hinaus enthalten sie Darstellungen rein dekorativer Natur, wie stilisierte Landschaften, Architekturdarstellungen und eine Vielzahl von Ornamenten. Die Analyse der Malereien in Bezug auf ihre Bildinhalte und -elemente ermöglicht Aussagen über die kulturellen Prozesse, die mit der Ausbreitung des Buddhismus nach Zentralasien und China verbunden waren.
Da viele der Malereien von den Preußischen „Turfan-Expeditionen“ in dieses Gebiet zwischen 1902 und 1914 zerstört wurden, indem sie große Teile abnahmen und nach Berlin brachten, ist es eine der Aufgaben des Projekts, den ursprünglichen Kontext der in Berlin aufbewahrten Malereifragmente virtuell zu rekonstruieren. Die Erschließung des gesamten Expeditionsmaterials, zu dem neben den Originalen auch Fotos der Höhlen und von im Krieg in Berlin zerstörten bzw. nach St. Petersburg verbrachten Malereien sowie zahlreiche weitere Dokumente der Expeditionen zählen, soll der Verantwortung für dieses einzigartige Kulturgut gerecht werden

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

New book by Susan Whitfield

Silk, Slaves, and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road 

by Susan Whitfield

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (10 April 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520281772

Following her bestselling Life Along the Silk Road, Susan Whitfield widens her exploration of the great cultural highway with another captivating portrait through the experience of things. Silk, Slaves, and Stupas tells the stories of ten very different objects, considering their interaction with the peoples and cultures of the Silk Road-those who made them, carried them, received them, used them, sold them, worshipped them, and, in more recent times, bought them, conserved them, and curated them. From a delicate pair of earrings from a steppe tomb to a massive stupa deep in Central Asia, a hoard of Kushan coins stored in an Ethiopian monastery to a Hellenistic glass bowl from a southern Chinese tomb, and a fragment of Byzantine silk wrapping the bones of a French saint to a Bactrian ewer depicting episodes from the Trojan War, these objects show us something of the cultural diversity and interaction along these trading routes of Afro-Eurasia. Exploring the labor, tools, materials, and rituals behind these various objects, Whitfield infuses her narrative with delightful details as the objects journey through time, space, and meaning. Silk, Slaves, and Stupas is a lively and unique approach to understanding the Silk Road and the cultural, economic, and technical changes of the late antiquity and medieval periods.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Textiles of the Silk Road. Design and Decorative Techniques: From Far East to Europe

The Artistic Traditions of Non-European Cultures, vol. 4

The Artistic Traditions of Non-European Cultures, vol. 4
Textiles of the Silk Road. Design and Decorative Techniques: From Far East to Europe

edited by Beata Biedrońska-Słota and Aleksandra Görlich

ISBN: 2450-5692
Format: 17 x 24
Liczba stron: 179
Oprawa miękka 

Silk Road is one of the most important trade routes connecting the Far East with the West. Stretched from Japan to the countries of Western Europe it also became one of the most important cultural exchange routes in history. It has been a subject of studies in various fields of research. Presented here are studies concerning textiles of the Silk Road.
Fifteen articles collected in the 4th volume of The Artistic Traditions of Non-European Cultures were presented at the international conference Textiles of the Silk Road. Design and Decorative Techniques: From Far East to Europe organized by the Krakow Branch of Polish Institute of World Art Studies and the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology. They are divided into four parts reflecting geographical and technical scope of their subjects: East Asia, Central Asia, From Central Asia to Middle East and Europe – Influences, and Technique and Tradition Throughout Asia. They are presented by art historians and experts of related disciplines from Poland, Ukraine,  Sweden, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Japan.
This publication is a collection of articles presenting traditions of various designs and decorative techniques spreading through the Silk Road from Far East to Europe, their connections and the way they developed. It also presents a condition of this heritage and its role in the realm of modern fashion and textile design.

Table of contents


Małgorzata Martini, Kumihimo: An Ancient Art or a Present–Day One? The Gifts of Mrs Midori Suzuki to the Japanese Art Collection in Krakow

Barbara Szewczyk, “How the Kimono Released Women from Corsets” – Japonism in Fashion at the Turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Anna Bielak, The Kimono as a Fashion Phenomenon in Modern Japan and Beyond

Maria Cybulska, Tomasz Dróżdż, Traditional Japanese Shibori and Contemporary Textile Design

Joanna Bodzek, To [Mend] * A Reflection on the Lee Edelkoort Anti-Fashion Manifesto, the Kimono Reconstruction Project – My Personal Vision on How Mended Clothes Can Mean “Style” in the Future and How This is Connected with the Boro Textiles of Japan

Ewa Orlińska-Mianowska, Reception of the Orient in the Eighteenth-Century European Silk Industry


Marta Żuchowska, Transferring Patterns Along the Silk Road: Vine and Grape Motifs on Chinese Silks in the 1st Millennium AD

Paweł Janik, The Faces from Noin Ula’s Embroidery – Xiongnu or Kushans?

Astrid Klein, The Language of Kučean Clothing: A Comparative Study of Wall Paintings and Textiles


Kosuke Goto, The Celestial Lotus: On the Sources of Ornamental Patterns Woven in Silk Samite

Maria Ludovica Rosati, Textiles Patterns on the Move: Looking at the Iconographical Exchanges Along the Silk Route in the Pre-Modern Period as Cultural Processes

Beata Biedrońska-Słota, The Cross-Cultural Role of Textiles Exemplified by Textiles with Arabic Inscriptions and Some Other Motifs

Cemile Tuna, Silk Trade from Bursa to Krakow on the Silk Road


Natalia Shabalina, Colour is a Sign of National Traditional Ornamental Art

Racep Karadag, Characterisation of Dyes, Metal Threads and Silk Yarns from 16–18th-century Ottoman Silk Brocades

Monday, 30 October 2017

Chinese shipwreck from the Mongol Period

This Shipwreck Dates to When Genghis Khan's Descendants Ruled China

Archaeologists have uncovered a shipwreck buried under silt and mud that dates back around 700 years to a time when the descendants of Genghis Khan ruled China, sometimes from their palace at Xanadu.
Although China was ruled by the Mongols Chinese culture flourished at this time and the art and artifacts found in the 70-foot-long (21 meters) wooden shipwreck show motifs that were popular in China. These include a colorful jar depicting a dragon and phoenix.
The ship, which the archaeologists believe was used for river journeys, was found at a modern day construction site and had a hull sectioned into 12 cabins by 12 bulkheads, wrote the team of archaeologists led by Shougong Wang, of the Shandong Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, in a paper published recently in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics. [See Images of the Shipwreck Remains and Artifacts]

Dating to the Yuan dynasty (circa 1271-1368), the ship held a shrine, a captain's cabin, crew quarters, cargo compartments and a control room that doubled as a kitchen, the archaeologists said in their paper. In the cabin that was used as a shrine, archaeologists found an incense burner and stone-carved figurines of "arhats," which, in Buddhism, are individuals who have attained enlightenment. The figurines show seemingly tame dragons and tigers sitting peacefully beside the arhats.
Overall "more than 100 artifacts were unearthed from both inside the shipwreck and its surrounding area, including artifacts of porcelain, pottery, lacquerware, jade, stone, iron, bronze and gold," the archaeologists wrote in the journal article. Inside the crew quarters, the researchers found "porcelain ewers [a type of jug or pitcher], net sinkers, scissors, oil lamps and bronze mirrors," they wrote, adding that lacquerware was found in the captain's quarters and grain remained in the cargo compartments.  
Inside the control room, which also served as the kitchen, they found an iron stove, an iron pot, an iron ladle and a wooden cutting board. The researchers also found the ship's control system, which  included a tiller located just above the control room on the ship's deck, the archaeologists wrote.
"The deposits around the shipwreck and the cracking of its [hull] suggest the possibility that the ship sank after its hull was hit and the ship wrecked," the study researchers wrote.
They didn't speculate on the fate of the crew; however, no human remains were found inside the shipwreck.
"During a relatively short period of time after the accident, the silt beneath the shipwreck was washed away by the current, [and] the shipwreck continued to sink to 1 m to 2 m [3.3 feet to 6.6 feet] below the original riverbed, then stabilized at its current location. Silt and mud were then deposited over it, and the shipwreck was completely buried," the archaeologists wrote.
The shipwreck was excavated between October 2010 and January 2011 by archaeologists from the Shandong Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and the Heze Municipal Commission for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments. A journal article with their results was published in 2016, in Chinese, in the journal Wenwu. Recently, this article was translated into English and published in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics.
Originally published on Live Science.

In Photos: 700-Year-Old Shipwreck Discovered in China

For more photo's, click HERE

Friday, 20 October 2017

Dunhuang: The Oasis at Bryant University

An Exhibit of Silk Road Art Treasures from Dunhuang Caves Coming to Bryant Sept. 27-Oct. 6

For ten days this fall, Bryant University will use virtual reality and painstakingly reconstructed replicas to bring an ancient Chinese cave and its artistic treasures to campus. 
“People will be able to experience something they’d otherwise have to travel thousands of miles to a Chinese desert to see."
The exhibition, Dunhuang: An Oasis for East-West Cultural, Commercial, and Religious Exchanges Along the Ancient Silk Road opens Sept. 27 in the George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology. Bryant is the first academic institution in the United States to host this interactive exhibition. After its 10-day run at Bryant, the exhibition will travel to other U.S. colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland, University of New Hampshire, and West Virginia University.  When the U.S. tour concludes, portions of the exhibit will be donated to Bryant for permanent display. 
Opening ceremonies will take place September 27, and from September 28-October 6, guided tours will take visitors through the exhibition — a panoramic projection of the cave site — and into the reconstructed cave to inspect the splendid murals and statues in close range. The interactive exhibit also include virtual reality, digital imaging, and short movies. Events related to the exhibition include a series of seminars focusing on arts, culture, history, environment, and religions represented in these caves.
“We are excited to bring this exceptional exhibition to Bryant after a year of planning and preparation,” said Hong Yang, Ph.D., Vice President of International Affairs and Dr. Charles J. Smiley Chair Professor of Science and Technology. “People will be able to experience something they’d otherwise have to travel thousands of miles to a Chinese desert to see. It is truly a unique cultural opportunity, and we look forward to sharing it with the Bryant community as well as other universities, organizations, and individuals throughout the country.”
About Dunhuang
Dunhuang is an oasis located in China’s northwestern Gansu Province, more than 1,400 miles from Beijing. According to Dunhuang Academy, it was the main and only gateway to and from China on the route known as the ancient Silk Road that ran between China, Western Asia, and the sub-continent of India. For more than 1,000 years, from the 4th to 14th centuries, Dunhuang was an ancient “cultural melting pot” where different cultures and religions met, traded, and interacted. Over the centuries, it became customary for travelers to dig caves into the sides of mountains and decorate them with art, with the hope for safety and success on their long and often dangerous journeys.

The Mogao Caves at Dunhuanghouse one of the world’s most extensive sites of Buddhist art, containing ancient Buddhist murals, statues, silk, manuscripts, as well as arts from Islamic, Daoist, Greek, Christian, and other cultures and religions. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a replica of Cave 285 of the Mogao Caves, a visually rich 6th-century cave known for its exceptional collection of Buddhist artworks. Due to environmental and political changes these caves were buried in the sands until rediscovered a hundred years ago. It is now a world renewed culture heritage listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Dunhuang exhibition at Bryant University is made possible by a partnership between Bryant University and Dunhuang Academy and co-sponsored by the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Government of Gansu Province.
Exhibition highlights

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Kara-Turug petroglyphs from ancient Siberia

Mountainside gallery where all civilisations added their own art from Bronze Age to medieval times

On the border between Russia and Mongolia, we reveal awe-inspiring Kara-Turug petroglyphs, and they contain a BIG secret about ancient Siberia.
Every major civilisation added their own distinct imprint to the collection of rock art at Dus-Dag mountain. Picture: Marina Kilunovskaya
There are 500 or so exhibits and the artwork here spanning some 4,000 years until the end of the first millennium AD.
Every major civilisation added their own distinct imprint to the collection of rock art at Dus-Dag mountain in modern-day Tuva Republic, literally from the age of the spear until well into medieval times. 
Archeologist Dr Marina Kilunovskaya said: 'This way they were marking their presence, showing that they were now the owners here.'
To their credit, successive civilisations coming here did not destroy the jottings of those who went before them. 

There are about 500 exhibits on Kara-Turug. Pictures: Marina Kilunovskaya
Each new incoming group on this crossroads of ancient civilisation  enriched the collection with their own artistic flourishes.
In truth, they probably came here for salt - there are copious local supplies - but they left their etchings depicting their life and beliefs, and they remain with us today.
'The petroglyphs were made by people who lived in this area in different times, starting from the Bronze Age in the third millennium BC,' said the academic, who is senior researcher at the Department of Archeology of Central Asia and Caucasus, Institute of the History of Material Culture, in St. Petersburg.
Her insights are riveting after painstaking research this summer into these hitherto unstudied petroglyphs.
'The most popular image - a bull. This was an epoch of the bull.' Picture: Marina Kilunovskaya
In a nutshell, she suggests that this rock art tells us that some of the oldest of the great nomadic cultures that - over several millennia - populated Siberia may not have been as nomadic as we thought. 
In the Bronze Age, petroglyphs at Kara-Tarag she has detected evidence of houses, with homely domestic scenes. 
'I am suggesting that ancient nomads knew how to build houses - and they depict these houses,' she told The Siberian Times.
Archeological discoveries tell us that ancient populations built log structures for burial chambers 'but it seems to me these (drawings) are real houses' in which Bronze Age families actually lived.
She explained: 'There are mainly domestic scenes but there also are images of houses in the Bronze Age.

Bronze Age chariot. Picture: Marina Kilunovskaya
'And what is surprising is that these are regular houses with roofs, although we are used to thinking that nomads lived in yurts.' 
The images of houses, sometimes even included floor plans.
They indicated that, for example, these ancients, predating the Scythians, led not only nomadic life but also were familiar with long term domestic life.  
They put down roots. 
The rock images evidently do not show similar houses in Scythian times, yet archeologists know they had the skills to build them: from the impressive burial chambers which have preserved right the way through to our times, for example in the Ukok plateau in the high Altai Mountains, and the Arzhan I and II sites in Tuva. 


'I am suggesting that ancient nomads knew how to build houses - and they depict these houses.' Pictures: Marina Kilunovskaya
They built them for their dead, so it is not unreasonable to suppose they also used them for the living. 
'The images of houses are unique,' explained Dr Kilunovskaya. 
'According to our understanding, nomads had no houses - but they were burying their dead in log cabins. Funeral chambers were made of wood which means they had understanding about 'wood architecture'. 
'We might be seeing houses of the dead (in this rock art) although, I think, we are seeing domestic scenes.
'There are couples depicted around houses and animals: goats, bulls, and dogs.'
She is currently engaged on a thesis to untangle these issues but talked us through the sweep of history depicted here in petroglyphs.
Arzhan 2 excavations site

Pazyryk burial chamber

Ukok burial chamber
Wooden burial chambers in Arzhan-2, Pazyryk and Ak-Alakha burial mounds. Pictures: Konstantin Chugunov, Anatoli Nagler and Hermann Parzinger; mazimus101, Vladimir Mylnikov/Science First Hands
'We discovered a unique monument of rock art at Kara-Turug, which has 20 groups of petroglyphs,' she said.
In other words, the ancient art gallery 20 different viewing spots for these remarkable petroglyphs. 
'The earliest we can date to the Bronze Age,' she said.  
'The Bronze Age era is the time of the first wave of migration to Central Asia, Mongolia, and the Sayano-Altai highlands, when an Indo-European population came here. 
'They were cattle breeders, moving along the 'steppes corridor' to the east. 
'These people left numerous archaeological sites here ... They also left specific rock art. 
Scythian deer

Scythian deer
'For Scythians the central deity was the deer. So we see deer appearing on the rocks.' Pictures: Marina Kilunovskaya
'It is special style in depicting animals. The most popular image - a bull. This was an epoch of the bull. 
'And creatures that were somehow related to the bull - well-known horned faces, so-called masks, of gods with horns.
'At that time, battle scenes also appeared, and at the end of Bronze Age, images of chariots.
'As for the houses... I believe that they are related to the late Bronze Age, to the pre-Scythian time.... 
'The houses are surrounded by the drawings related to the Bronze age - of bulls and chariots.'
She said: 'The next layer are the Scythian petroglyphs. For them the central deity was the deer. So we see deer appearing on the rocks. 
Deer in Mongolian-Transbaikal style

Deer in Mongolian-Transbaikal style

Deer in Mongolian-Transbaikal style
Scythian time stag in Mongol-Transbaikal style. Pictures: Marina Kilunovskaya
'The drawings are not very naturalistic, so we presume this was kind of deity. Also there are hunting scenes here. 
'Then came the Xiongnu times. They have a special style, very dynamic. Scenes of hunting and battles. 
'The next layer are drawn by the Turks. They loved to draw their warriors - in armour, with banners.' 
She said: 'Locals treated this ancient rock art with great reverence.' It was not vandalised. 
There is one enduring likeness through these epochs, and it keeps repeating, she said.
'The one image depicted in all the epochs is a mountain goat or sheep. They all hunted this animal and it is on their drawings. 
'The one image depicted in all the epochs is a mountain goat or sheep.' Picture: Marina Kilunovskaya
'The methods of drawing differed in every epoch. 
'The earliest stages - in the Bronze Age - they used sharpened bone and a stone. Bronze was not suitable. 
'In Xiongnu times they begin to use iron, as they learned to make durable iron. And they begin to engrave the drawings.
'We can also say that Scythian masters always did sketches - with charcoal - and then engraved very thin lines before making general drawings over these lines.'
Turkic engravings
'The next layer are drawn by the Turks. They loved to draw their warriors - in armour, with banners.' Picture: Marina Kilunovskaya
The end result is a treasure of epic proportions handed down from our ancestors, each epoch leaving their own imprint for future generations. 
'No one has studied this territory before,' she said. 
'I want to say big thanks to the Mongolian side [Institute of Archaeology of Mongolia] for the help in the research of these petroglyphs as they are located right on the border. 
'This territory is quite hard to study, as this is a frontier area and special access from border guards is needed. 
'But we managed to get the access and worked right on the border.'
Kara-Turug is located on the border between Russia and Mongolia, in the shore of Ubsunur lake. Picture: Marina Kilunovskaya