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Still Waters

Scientists rush to preserve unique collection of petroglyphs in remote corner of Chukotka

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Still Waters

Whale hunting, reindeers crossing rivers, dogs chasing a brown bear for an ancient hunter, dancing men and women with huge ‘fly agaric’ mushrooms on their heads - these stunning, dynamic and expressive petroglyphs are one of the least studied on Earth. They are also the only rock art in Russia discovered above the Arctic Circle. 

The spectacular art gallery - scientists found 350 stone planes, each with dozens of drawings - was ‘opened’ at least two thousand years ago, when ancient artists embossed petroglyphs on rocks of what is now  Chukotka, Russia’s easternmost corner. 

The Pegtymel petroglyphs were found by Soviet geologists in 1967, high above the right bank of the Pegtymel River, a short distance from the East Siberian Sea. 

The area is so remote it can only be reached by a helicopter. The nearest town to the site is Pevek, some 5,555 km east of Moscow. 


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