The petroglyphs are carved on the surface of large basalt rocks along the right bank of the Amur River near the villages of Sikachi-Alyan and Malyshevo (Khabarovskiy district), 70 kilometers from the city of Khabarovsk. They represent drawings of masks, animals, birds, snakes, boats, holes and pits, and concentric circles. Approximately 300 drawings were found in total. Fewer than 160 of them still exist.
The drawings were made by using stone tools to make deep grooves and by carving with metal tools. The images relate to the Mesolithic age, the Neolithic age, the early Iron Age and early Middle Ages and date back to 12,000 BCE — the first half of the 1st millennium CE. The first people to study the Lower Amur petroglyphs and give them proper scientific descriptions were R. Maak, who explored the Ussuri river valley in 1859 and N. Alftan (1894).
There is a theory that people began creating the petroglyphs on the banks of the Amur more than 3,000 years ago. In other words, the Amur petroglyphs are of the same age as the Egyptian pyramids. One of the boulders has a drawing of a horse on its surface. Archeologists say that horses were found near Amur during the Ice Age only. This is the most ancient petroglyph. Thousands of petroglyphs are scattered along the banks of the Amur River. Not all of them are known yet. Many have been carried to the river bottom by the Amur floods so they have only been seen, not sketched. Some boulders were turned upside down by drifting ice blocks and nobody knows now which of the overturned rocks is hiding a stone face.
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