On February 21, 2023, the project team held an informational lecture on the Ak-Bulun petroglyphs for students of the Issyk-Kul State University. Two KNU students involved in the process of certification of the complex also took part in the lecture.
The project’s lead expert, archaeologist Oroz Soltobaev, and project expert, employee of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Youth Policy, Chynarbek Zholdoshov talked about historical and archaeological features of the Ak-Bulun petroglyphs, such as the dating of images, methods of placing images on the stones and storylines of images. Project Coordinator Aiza Abdyrakhmanova shared with the students the results of the project to preserve and protect this historical and cultural complex – students were shown a website about the petroglyphs of Kyrgyzstan and an online map of Ak-Bulun.
The topic of traditional interpretation of petroglyphs aroused special interest of students and questions. After the lecture, the project experts Jumagazy Sadyr uulu, Cholponai U-G and Chynar Seydakhmatova shared their experience in understanding the traditional meanings of petroglyphs.
The students were interested in the traditional interpretation of the images of mountain goats. During the discussion the experts were asked questions about the reasons for the large number of images of ibex on this complex. Project expert Chynar Seydakhmatova shared with the students the idea that people correlated their livelihood with the lifecycle of the ibex. The life of ancient people living near mountainous areas and was closely linked to ibex and goats – from them people got wool and food. Thus, the images of goats are a reflection of the connection with the terrestrial, material world. The difference and types of their horns in the petroglyphs indicated the seasonal changes and cycles and were left as messages on the petroglyphs. Also, according to Chynara Seydakhmatova’s interpretation, the petroglyphs of Ak-Bulun are a place that possesses the energy of the generating, multiplying, transforming feminine origin. People came here for a blessing for wealth, for the opening of the path of life and for achieving success. They also came with wishes of good luck in hunting and other economic undertakings. It is for this reason that one can see a great variety of images of these animals in the mountains, including on the Ak-Bulun complex.