The gap between the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea, in modern-day Azerbaijan, has been an important migration route for early humans (and pre-humans) for hundreds of thousands of years, as evidenced by the prehistoric rock drawings at Gobustan, south of Baku. 🇦🇿

Rock drawing of a prehistoric hunter with a bow, in the site museum at Gobustan, Azerbaijan 🇦🇿
The prehistoric rock drawings span many different eras and are located near the top of a rocky outcropping in a landscape dominated by surrounding mud volcanos. Gobustan, Azerbaijan 🇦🇿
The rock drawings depict people hunting and dancing, as well as local animals and even boats - which may represent fishing or symbolize either earthly or spiritual journeys. Gobustan, Azerbaijan 🇦🇿
The now-arid landscape at Gobustan, south of Baku, was at various times (especially during recurring Ice Ages) a lot more lush, with juniper and pistachio trees, pomegranates and wild cherries. 🇦🇿
At several other times, over the past million years, the Caspian Sea has swept in and nearly covered the rock outcropping at Gobustan and the surrounding area. 🇦🇿
When it was not partly submerged, the area around Gobustan had rich wildlife including lions, cheetahs, deer, wolves, boars, and auroch (the wild ancestor of cattle). Can you see the image of the auroch? 🇦🇿
More rock drawings at Gobustan, south of Baku in Azerbaijan, featuring people, the aurochs they hunted, and other animals. Chip marks near the drawings suggest the animal images may have been “stabbed” in pre-hunting rituals. 🇦🇿
Some speculate that the sheer number of rock drawings at Gobustan indicate it was a special spiritual or ritual site, perhaps inhabited by shaman. I liked this fellow in the museum so much I just had to post him. Gobustan, Azerbaijan 🇦🇿

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