The Karelian petroglyphs are outstanding, world-renowned monuments. Researchers have called them the Stone Chronicle and the Stone Age Bible.
Researchers have interpreted less than half of the petroglyphs discovered here. Petroglyphs usually represent animals, birds, fish, boats, and people, but sometimes the symbols are of unfamiliar objects. Some scientists classify these pictures as solar-lunar types and believe that they represent the moon and the sun. Others are convinced that ancient people saw some kind of flying objects and depicted them.
Two noticeable clusters of petroglyphs were found in the Republic of Karelia: in the Belomorsk region and on the shores of Lake Onega. The petroglyphs of the Belomorsk region are of almost the same age as those of Lake Onega. They were created between the beginning of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd millenium B.C. by the ancestors of modern Finnic peoples. While the image-creation process on the White Sea took longer, twice as many petroglyphs have been discovered there, compared to the Lake Onega sites.
The Belomorsk Petroglyphs Archaeological Complex includes not only rock drawings (engravings), but also over 30 ancient settlements dated between the 3rd and 2nd millenium B.C.
The Belomorsk petroglyphs were created around six thousand years ago, and they are one of the outstanding monuments of primitive art in Northern Europe.
The petroglyphs of the White Sea are located on picturesque islands on the lower reaches of the Vyg river in small clusters on such islands as Shoyrukshin, Erpin Pudas, Bolshoi Malinin, etc. Over 2,000 individual figures are spread out among almost two square kilometers.
The closest petroglyph clusters to Belomsork are Besovy Sledki and Erpin Pudas. Besovy Sledki, a monument dated to the 4th century B.C., is located near the Shoyrukshin waterfall. It was first mentioned by A. Linevsky, an anthropology student, in the summer of 1926. One of the local residents brought the student to Shoyrukshin island and showed him a rock on the shore covered with various symbols and figures. At a certain point, the rock with petroglyphs was hidden behind a pavilion. The lower part of the rock is smooth and one can clearly see images of people and animals, hunting scenes, battles, and ritual processions, as well as abstract symbols. Here you can also see the oldest image of a person on skis to be found in Europe.
Along the base of the rock below the lowest line of images is a chain of eight barefooted footprints. The footprints end with a significant figure of a «demon» standing at some distance from the main cluster of figures, which explains the monument's name. Researchers think the «demon» was a lord or a god, and the rock with the pictures was a place for making sacrifices to him.
The groups of petroglyphs and ancient settlements along with the surrounding nature create a unique archaeological complex. Its territory includes the Belomorsk Petroglyphs trail.
Tourist portal of Karelia / www.ticrk.ru
|Address:||Republic of Karelia, Belomorsk region, Vygostrov village|