Drawings in the Desert

Posted by on November 30, 2012

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As disappointed as I was by the Qobustan Mud Volcanoes, I was equally pleasantly surprised by the nearby petroglyphs.

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After leaving Central Asia a month earlier, I’d been pretty ‘glyphed out. I’d visited so many of the things (and in beautiful setting like the Tajik Wakhan Valley and Pamir Mountains) that I honestly didn’t expect much from the ones in Azerbaijan. Qobustan, though, really managed to surprise me with this one.

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The biggest factor in this was, I think, the Regional Museum dedicated largely to the petroglyphs and history of the civilizations that would have drawn them. It was informative, interactive, entertaining, and educational; everything I want to see out of a museum.

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Of everything I saw in all of Azerbaijan, this museum may well have been the single most “got it right” place in the entire country as far as development of tourist infrastructure.

Scenes from the Qobustan Museum

So, go. See the museum, see the petroglyphs, and look for the graffiti left by Roman Legionnaires. This place is cool and worth your time.

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Public busses run from Baku to Qobustan, and from there the museum and glyphs are a 3km walk or taxi ride. The museum is open from around 10:30 – 16:30, so daytripping from Baku is quite possible.

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