"Ornok" archaeological complex

Chronicle drawn in stone


Man has always been interested to see something grand, fantastic, to touch the origins of life. Archaeological complex "Ornok", located north of Lake Issyk-Kul, near the village of Ornok gives you this opportunity.

This open-air museum has striking scale: it stretches 5 km north to south, and 6 km east to west. The archaeological complex "Ornok" is a huge valley at the foot of the Kungei-Alatoo ridge, covered with several thousand stones lying on both sides of the Cholpon-Ata - Almaty road. It is the stones that are of particular historical value, since they are covered with petroglyphs dating Bronze, Iron Ages and the early Middle Ages (2 thousand BC - 1 thousand AD). Here you can see the depictions of various animals: goats, argali, horses, snow leopards, deer, as well as scenes of hunting and rituals. Apart from ancient fauna, you see people in animalistic masks resembling strong mystical heroes. A large number of images show a deer with strong branching horns.  Presumably, it is connected with the legend of the Mother-Deer - mythological ancestor of the Kyrgyz Bugu tribe. On some boulders, one can see caravans and camels, which also reflects the history of this region. In addition to stones with drawings, there are other archaeological monuments on the territory of the complex: burial mounds, remains of stone buildings and tombs.

The “Ornok” complex drawings are unique and have interesting plot and technique.  However, only the half of it has been studied carefully.  Every year archeologists and all those interested in ancient history come here to open new pages in stone chronicle. You can wander endlessly among the magnificent monuments, which have come down to us from the depths of ages and silently keep the secrets of history to themselves.

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