Russian scientists find new rock drawings beyond polar circle


ST. PETERSBURG, September 9 (RIA Novosti, Anna Novak) - Russian scientists have found new rock drawings on the only historical monument of ancient culture in Chukotka, the Russian Far East, an expedition member said Friday.

Mikhal Slobodzyan said the expedition, organized by the Archaeology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, explored the monument 40 years after Russian geologist Nikolai Samorukov had found the first 103 paintings, or petroglyphs, on the Kaikuulsky steep of the Pegtymel river.

The expedition discovered about 170 new silhouette group paintings and individual figures. The scientists made polymer copies of the most interesting ones.

Slobodzyan said it was very difficult to give the exact date of the petroglyphs. Nikolai Dikov, the first Pegtymel researcher, believed they could have been engraved somewhere between 1,000 B.C. and late 1,000 A.D. But modern researchers say the drawings could date back to the 17th-19th centuries.

"The Pegtymel drawings remain the sole monument of rock painting on the vast expanses of Asia's extreme northeast," Slobodzyan said. He said researchers explored the upper and medium reaches of the Pegtymel two years ago. This year, the river's lower reaches were also explored, but no new drawings were discovered.

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