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Ukhtasar Mountain

Ukhtasar is situated in Syunik region, 30 km far from Sisian- in the centre of the Syunik Highland. The height of the mountain is 3300 m. For 9 months in a year, Ukhtasar is covered with snow.

There are 2 versions associated with the origin of the name ''Ughtasar''. According to the first version- the mountain situated between Sev(Black) and Al(Red) lakes looks like a camel (ught- a camel). According to another version, this was a place of pilgrimage(ukht-pray, pilgrimage). The second version is more possible because people sacrificed their prey after a hunt and then depicted it on the rocks from ancient times. And before the ceremony, the sacrifices passed a long way and were cleaned in the lakes of Ukhtasar.

Ukhtasar is unique with its petroglyphs. At its foothill, on the slopes, and even around small lakes that have arisen in volcanic craters(in which, the ice never melts to the end) there are more than 2,000 preserved petroglyphs. These ancient depictions are made on flat horizontal and vertical surfaces of copper and black rocks - 2–20 mm wide and 2–6 cm deep, and in some they used the three-dimensional technique.

The depictions on petroglyphs are scenes of hunting, the surrounding nature, various ritual actions, especially the sun worship, also scenes depicting ancient ideas about space, one of the zodiac signs (Aries) and primitive calendars. Those are depicted in the form of wheels, and the separation of time is indicated by a cross and circles that show four seasons.

The oldest depictions of Ukhtasar belong to the V-IV millennia B.C. But, there is a large amount of the Bronze Age petroglyphs (III-II millennium B.C.). They show the life, beliefs of ancient people of the Armenian Highland, hunting scenes, where hunters are depicted with a bow and arrow, spears, shields.

Also, on the rocks, there are representatives of Armenia's fauna- both wild and domesticated (bezoar goats, deer, horses, dogs, wild boars, etc.). The accuracy and skill used to depict the objects of nature and the movements of animals are amazing. It is interesting that the petroglyphs of Ukhtasar, which depict the fauna in detail, almost have no birds on them.

 There are also depictions of geographical objects- rivers, lakes, springs, and even celestial bodies and astronomical phenomena- the Sun, moon, stars, starry sky, lightning.

But the most complicated and interesting petroglyphs depict ancient ritual dances of two or more people. And even on one of the petroglyphs, there's a depicted analog of the story about Adam and Eve.

Ukhtasar petroglyphs have reached us almost intact, only a small part has got through weathering, and the rocks that are situated near the springs are covered with ground.

The fact that people lived in this place from immemorial times, show the petroglyphs that were recently discovered in the gorge, which is located between Ishkhanasar and Ukhtasar mountains. Petroglyphs similar to the ones on Ukhtasar can be found in other places of Armenia- in the mountains around the village of Tskhuk, in Vardenis mountain range, in the gorge of Vorotan river, in Geghama mountains and around Aragats. The common feature of these petroglyphs is their infographic and the fact that they are located at an altitude of 3000-3300 m, mainly around the glacial lakes.