During the field trip to Ak-Bulun petroglyphs on August 1 and 2, the students learned the essentials steps of identifying, numbering and recording the petroglyphs as part of a certification process.
On the first day, the students were divided into pairs. Each pair was tasked to explore designated area of the site for careful investigation and identification of stone carvings. They were to mark the stones with images for their further inclusion in the final archaeological list. As a result of a thorough study of the area, students found 7 new stones with images that had not previously been recorded during the preliminary study trip.
The second day of the trip was devoted to teaching the students estampage or stamping – the process of getting an exact copy of a stone carving, which is typically derived by applying wet and/or dry mica paper onto the rock face, over which any ink material is wiped. Upon learning the stamping technique, the students were divided into groups tasked to estampage the petroglyphs they chose and identified as special and.or unique. As a result, the students managed to stamp 20 images – images of mountain goats, a camel, anthropomorphic figures, deer, etc. were transferred onto the mica paper. Also, together with the whole group, a stone statue – balbal – was stamped under the guidance of Oroz Soltobaev. The experts positively assessed the practical work of the students. The stampings will be digitized and included in the multimedia product of the project.
Registration of petroglyphs
Simultaneously to practical students’ exercise of estampage, the project experts numbered each identified stone and took GPS coordinates and photos. As a result of two full days of field work, 67 stones with various images were registered with individual number assigned and GPS coordinates and photos taken.
Regarding the process of registering the petroglyphs: the work on registering the stone carvings for 2 days of field work was carried out by experts as successfully as possible. It was possible to fully register 67 stones with images. About 20 stones of a small place remained unnumbered (the western side of one of the three hills where petroglyphs are accumulated). Data on these stones are already available from the results of the first exploration trip. The results of all field trips will be combined by project experts into a single report.
Based on the archaeological description of Ak-Bulun petroglyphs, it will be discussed and planned the certification of Ak-Bulun petroglyphs to include the complex in the list of historical monuments of local importance for further protection.
Another field trip is planned to complete the work on numbering the remaining stone carvings.
In the near future, the tasks of the planned seminar in Ak-Bulun will be discussed.