Mud volcanoes and petroglyphs
Qobustan Travel Blog› entry 29 of 30 › view all entries
Today we visited the region Gobustan, famous for its mud volcanoes and petroglyphs. Mud volcanoes are low temperature volcanoes that burp and bubble mud rather than lava. Over half of all the thousand mud volcanoes in the world are on the Caspian coastline of Azerbaijan, with a special concentration in Gobustan. The mud volcanoes formed bubbling pimples on the surface of the desert plain, with slow motion mud flows and the occasional belch of mud flying through the air, accompanied by the sound like a heavy smoker’s cough. The methane bubbling up through the mud occasionally catches on fire (hence Azerbaijan, the land of eternal fire), making the site sacred to early Zoroastrians in Azerbaijan.
The petroglyphs of Gobustan are carved into the rock walls of the deep ravines that cut through the mountainous part of the region (Gobustan means “country of ravines”). The pictures of humans and animals date back from 3000 BCE to 40,000 BCE. Also carved into the rock at Gobustan is the most Eastern record of Latin script, engraved between 84 CE and 96 CE, by the Roman legion Legio duodecima Fulminata (Twelfth Lightning-Struck Legion), sent to guard the Eastern border of the Empire at its pinnacle.