Inscription on the World Heritage List of the Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly in Kazakhstan

20 September 2005

On 19 September 2005, during a ceremony held at UNESCO Headquarters the Director-General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, handed to Mr Dussen Kassinov, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan for cultural and humanitarian affairs, the certificate of the inscription on the World Heritage List of the petroglyphs within the archaeological landscape of Tamgaly in Kazakhstan. This second Kazakh site was included on the List during the 28th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2004. The first Kazakh site the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi - had been inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2003.

Set around the Tamgaly Gorge, the site is a remarkable concentration of some 500 petroglyphs distributed among 48 complexes that date from the second half of the second millennium BC to the beginning of the 20th century.

In his speech at the ceremony, the Director-General expressed his satisfaction about this inscription, recalling his visit to the site on the occasion of his first official visit to Kazakhstan in August 2001. Mr Matsuura referred in particular to the famous images of heads and solar divinities, which have contributed to the sites wide reputation.

The Director-General highlighted the unique value of the site which, in comparison to the other rock art sites in Central Asia, stands out for its quality and the coherence of iconography, as well as for the complete inventory that it offers of the pastoral people of the region. Moreover, the Director-General added, it stands out for its policy of management and prudent protection the authorities of Kazakhstan have been engaged in since the last decade, symbolized in particular by the 1992 law on the protection and utilization of historic and cultural heritage.

The Director-General also expressed his appreciation of the generous financial assistance provided by Norway towards the conservation of the site by launching in 2002 a major project which aims at protecting the site from possible climatic changes, seismic risks and uncontrolled access of visitors.

With the inscription of Tamgaly on the World Heritage List, the Director-General concluded, a fragment of the common heritage of the humanity, our shared conviction to put the heritage politics at the service of dialogue, cultural diversity and sustainable development, will henceforth meet with a new headstart.

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