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Astral images

         Some definite part of Gamigaya images consists of astral images. The researches conducted, prove that the clans residing in Azerbaijan have been worshiping the Heavenly beings. On the utensils belonging to the Early Bronze period there were presented the drawings of Sun, Moon and spiral.

    The signages symbolizing the Sun occupy a special place among the images describing the Sun. The Sun was usually drawn as a circle, raying line from the circle and a circle with some dots inside it. The similar images can be met in Gobustan, Kareliya, and Siberia and in some other parts of the world.  The bottom of some utensils, which belong to Bronze and Iron Ages, has been surrounded with convex lines. One of the widely spread patterns carved on the colored and grey utensils are the rayed circles. Decorating the colored utensils on them with rayed circles is inseparable part of Early Iron Age. A cannel ornament that was broadly spread out in this period is also said to be related to the cult of Sun. The similar images have for a long time existed in Azerbaijan life and the elevations of buildings, the interior of the houses, gates as well as the grave stones have been decorated with the drawings of Sun.

    One of the widely spread drawings of the sun is a circle with two ledges. One of the images on Gamigaya is cross, or the circles divided into four parts by means of swastika.

    According to N.Museyibov’s interpretation a circle divided into four parts by cross is a symbol that the Sun scatters its rays to all four sides of the world. The fact of dividing the circle into four parts by cross is a symbol indicating four sides of the world, as researchers also confirm it. As it was mentioned above, this is related to the imaginations connected with the structure of the tetrahedral horizontal spatial world. From this viewpoint an image of rock, which was discovered on Gedam Mountains, is especially interesting. There were drawn four circles and as an appropriate four human pictures in each part of four sections. These four human drawings symbolize the God protecting the world from four sides. There are sufficiently enough cases when we met expression of this idea by zoomorphic images. The acceptance of similar descriptions as the astral images is closely connected with the regulatory function of the initial force – creator. N.Museyibov told that the dividing the circle into two parts is related to the indications of day and night. To our mind, dividing the circle into two parts is expression of modeling binary world in opposition. From this viewpoint the drawings on shaman davuls published by M.Seyidov are worth to attention. Here on the lower side the divided part of the circle is depicted the life in another world and on the upper parts the drawings Heavenly being and the middle world. The researchers compare the description of circle divided with crossing lines from inside compared with cart wheels. The archeological and mythological researches had put forward the legend of Sun’s rambling in the cart on the sky with the appearance of the developed wheeled carts. It is difficult to say that to what extent these drawings had some kind of interrelationships with Gamigaya. To our mind, it is not possible to give out a circle which is filled with dots and crossing lines from inside, as a cartwheel. It should be noted that from the centre of this circle there pass two parallel lines. The likely parallel lines were met on Shaman davuls and on the Siberian gravestones. Some researchers presented the parallel lines on the gravestones to be “the line” leading to another world. According to the belief of Azerbaijanis’ the lines shown on the palm of the man are the indications of his life span. One of the drawings showing the concentric circles we met in Gamigaya is completed with the head of snake. V.Aliyev told it to symbolize the Sun. But it should be noted that the likely drawings of spirals ended with snakehead are also met in Kura -Araz ceramics. Spiral-shaped helicoids of snake drawings on women figures belonging to South East Asia Eneolith age are related to women symbols and chthonic forces. If we attentively pay attention to Gamigaya images we can easily find out that three concentric circles are inserted into each other. Inside the first circle there is a convex. This symbolizes the Sun, the circle around it describes the civilized space and the circle completed with the snakehead image denotes the periphery. To our mind here is clearly described the three – part - structure of cosmic model and their mutual interrelationship.

    One of the widely spread symbols of the Sun is circle which is filled with dots from inside. The likely images could also be found on utensils of Bronze Age and on Kolani necropolis. On one of the drawings on the gravestone the description of Sun is given as God’s head which is filled from inside with dots. The fact of widely spread Sun images in Gamigaya and on other archeological works indicate that the beliefs related to Sun were widely spread in Azerbaijan.  Widely spread Sun images are indication to the existence of belief in Sun and Rays. Beliefs in Sun and ray are widely reflected in mythology of Turkish people and Azerbaijani turks.

    There are a lot of legends related to the Sun and to the Moon. These examples show that the belief of Son has the long historical roots. Mirali Seyidov basing the researches he has carried out, notes that the God of Son have been imagined in the shape of Ray zoomorphic parts or human. Mystification of son and belief in son, without any doubt, were connected with the belief that the son is beginning of nature’s productive force. It indicates that the sunny days occupied the special place in the life of people. It is really so that without the Sun lights the existence and reproducibility of the biological entities would be impossible. Not depending on the situation of how the Sun was presented in mythology, it has always enlightened the other world. There are also the half moon images among the Gamigaya traceries. On the utensils belonging to Bronze age we extensively encounter to the images of half moon as well as to the patterns of crescent shape.  The pair circled images in some numbers also exist among the Gamigaya traceries. The similar images are widely met on the rocks of Siberia and on Gedam Mountains. Pair circles of Venus were symbolizing a cult of twins, productivity. This is called as Ulkar star in Azerbaijan and there exist a lot legends related to Ulkar star. “Ulkar and prophet Suleyman”, “Liar Ulkar” are the similar type of legends. The researchers had shown that in some nations the name of Ulkar is connected with evil forces. According to the information provided by G.N. Potanin Venus or Ulkar were worshiped by Mongolians, huns and turks. There had been a legend about Venus, which had been taking the caravans out of their ways and destroying them. This legend existed in Azerbaijan folklore as it is. According to legend, having seen a bright star on the sky a guard awakened the caravan. Although they went on too much, a day didn’t break. The storm, which started after a while, destroyed the caravan. As it is seen, it was another star causing the destruction of caravan. For that reason it was called “A Liar Ulkar”. In Azerbaijan legends Star Ulkar had symbolized the beginning of spring and breaking of day.  As it come apparent that the ancient people had been identifying the daybreak and beginning of spring by looking at this Star. It is also possible that, as Ulkar appeared only when the Sun broke and set off, it was described with pair circles. As the time past it had changed and started to symbolize the beginning of spring, harvest and multiplication of harvest and abundance.

    The symbols related to twins sometimes were described by pair triangles. Expression of pair triangles together with other heavenly beings indicated to their astral meaning. Together with Gamigaya traceries, we can also meet the animal and human figures on the clay utensils expressed by twin-triangles. On Gamigaya images a notion of Heaven was also reflected. Eventually, the arc-shaped lines had been symbolizing a heaven. To our mind, a notion of sky was more expressed by astral pictures. From this viewpoint it is thought that the complex sceneries expressed by astral pictures, at the same time are regarded to be the drawings of sky. Because the Sun, the Moon, the Venus that are regarded to be the beginning of benefit and harvest. Because the Sun, the Moon, the Venus are reckoned the beginning of harvest and this benefit was connected with Sky. In beliefs of many countries and as well as in Azeri Turks the Sky was a symbol of creative forces of nature, and the Heaven was regarded to be a settlement of Gods. According to legend once the Sun and the Moon used to live on the earth. Once the Sun walks and raises the sky. The Moon was sent to look for the Sun. Although the Moon searches it for a long time it can’t find the Sun. Meantime the sky roars, thunders and it separates the Sky from the Earth. The Sun and the Moon can’t descend the Earth. Let’s note that the ancient belief of finding refuge on the Heavens is still preserved among Azeri Turks. Ancient Turks had been worshiping the Heavens as God. According to the beliefs of Turks the power is given to the king by Heavens. Heavenly God determines the people’s life, raises the nations or turns them upside down. According to the legend,  Amir Teymur’s famous throne used to be on blue stone. When he was on travel his room used to stay closed. When a rainfall was less the people used to climb the top of the mountain, sacrifice a sheep and plead the god to present rain to them. These beliefs were depicted in “Chomchakhatun“legend, as well. According to the legend as there was a long term dry, Chomchakhatun had climbed on a top of hill and pleaded the God to make rain fall. The God heard him and there went rain. One girl standing under a tree got soaked and turned into a green tree. In this legend there is reflected the cosmic thoughts of the people, as well.

    A definite group of Gamigaya images consists of trio ledged signage. These were described together with animal and human images. Some researchers had thought that the trio ledged signage to symbolize the Sun. I.M. Jafarzadeh thought them to be tamga and D.A.Akhundoff thought them to be home paintings. Not depending on these thoughts there is no doubt that the trio ledged signage is connected with some symbols. These signs pragmatically should be connected with the humans’ belief and worship in all three - layer representatives of the forces. We can also meet the small, circle and oval dotted signage on Gamigaya. It is thought that the similar type of images illustrated the stars. We can meet them mainly around the human and animal figures. On one of the images there was described that on the level of head of the human, moving towards the goat there are two small oval circles. To our mind, the twin circles are a symbol of the Venus. We encounter the likely type symbols around goats and the camel like animals, as well. As it is known, in Azerbaijan folklore there are a lot of legends and myths related to stars. As the likely images of Gamigaya are not studied sufficiently yet, it is difficult to identify what stars are they. But we would like to note that the dotted signage symbolized the light and brightness. Among the illustrations of Sun its description as the inside dotted circles is also connected with it.  The illustration of Sun with oval and inside dotted signage is also widely described in ethnographic materials of the Siberian folks.

    We meet the separate arc-shaped lines and the rayed arc lines from the sun symbols on Gamigaya. We can also encounter the similar drawings on teleut shamans’ utilities of everyday usage. E.A.Okladnikova, basing the ethnographic materials, concluded that the rayed arc lines from the sun symbols illustrate rainbow and the brush like circle ledges symbolize rain. According to the legend preserved in Azeri turks’ historical memory a rainbow represented the seven girls who escaping the Khan’s tyranny found a refuge on the sky. By the legend the colors of rainbow are colors of the girls. One of the signage met on Gamigaya is cross and swastika illustration. These drawings have been described exceedingly by different ways. We meet the same drawings on the colored and grey utensils belonging to the Bronze Age.  Basing the analyses, E.A.Okladnikova told that the cross signage had symbolized the Sun or the birds or humans connected with the benevolent God. V. Aliyev called one of the signage of cross on Gamigaya to be a human figure. Meeting the likely drawings in hunting scenery shows that, they were connected with the astral symbols. The existence of cross signage on Azerbaijan’s knitting and lace works are connected with beliefs. In order to prove rightness of the thoughts mentioned above it is enough to have a look on the ancient descriptions. It more brightly reflected in the ancient pictures; the likely drawings are connected with mythological way of thinking of the people. On the utensils belonging to Samarra civilization we meet four humans standing along the circles, and as well as the images of goat and birds. The historical roots of resemblance of the cross descriptions to the human and birds’ images are connected with this. The likely drawings are more schematically described like the Malta cross forms and had turned out to be the popular motives of the ancient Oriental civilization. We can also encounter the likely illustrations on the monuments of Azerbaijan culture, on the colored jars of Gizilburun. The above mentioned issues show that, the cross descriptions having connections with the ancient peoples’ beliefs had symbolized the four sides of the world and the horizontal space’s four sided structure. A resemblance of cross illustrations found on the rocks symbolizing the human figures and as well as animal horns are connected with this. We also meet the likely structures in the mythology of some folks and also among the number the ancient Turks’ mythology. For example, a tree or a mountain is a centre of the earth and four birches are the four sides of the world. In another description there is a falling sunray and inside of which there are seen five houses and etc. The idea of people’s finding a refuge on all four sides of the world or protection of their spirits by the owners of all four sides of the world is already mentioned before. A reveal out of the content of Gamigaya’s some signage needs a special investigation. But we would like to express our thoughts partially related to some of them. For example, in order to explain what the “T” like signage meant on Gamigaya, we need to look through the drawings depicted on the clay utensils of Anau civilization. On one of the utensils there is described an angle, between the angles there are described the “T” like signage. This pattern had covered all body of the utensil. The descriptions on an oval thing found in Altintepe proved that those were not simple patterns. There were two human and geometric figures on one side of the oval thing, on the other side in the centre there is a symbol of sun, but on all four sides of the figure are printed by “T” like signage. This symbol shows the reduction of the cosmic world model into the horizontal space. Here the “T” like signage shows the four sides of the world.

    The likely signage found on Gamigaya shows their connection with astral symbols. Of course sometimes the likely distant relations can seem unbelievable, but it proves once again that there is no border for culture.

    We can widely encounter the “V” like signage on the colored utensils found on Gamigaya in Nakhchivan. The analysis of descriptions’ found on the colored utensils indicate that they are connected with manifestation of comprehension of rays and astral symbols.


       The site presented you is dedicated to one of the actual problems of Azerbaijan archeology, to the study of inscriptions found on the rocks. The site informs us about Gamigaya images’ religious and mythological content. The clerical and mythological looks which have been forming for thousand years constitute the basics of the governance of the ancient societies. After emerging of social inequality and formation state these looks have been serving for the reign of governing classes and for the protection of sociopolitical stability. As the mythological model of the world was the same in all nations, together with benefiting from the world scientists’ experience it has also been counted expedient to study the Gamigaya traceries from the position of mythological world outlook of Azeri Turks. Because the influence of Eastern civilization for thousand years has left a deep influence on the folklore and ethnography of Azeri Turks connected with this region. This fact shows itself to a high extend during archeological researches of the monuments.

      The resent investigation works carried out in study of Gamigaya monuments are worth to be distinguished. On August 2001 by our ex-president highly esteemed Heydar Aliyev’s special assignment and care it was carried out an investigation and expedition work in Gamigaya in close cooperation of Azerbaijan National Academy of Science and the Institute of Ethnography with a Nakhchivan branch of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and with Nakhchivan State University. Despite all these works, which were carried out we, cannot count the research of this monument be finished. We do hope that this site, which is prepared about Gamigaya from the viewpoint of its historical importance, will be very effective to fill the gaps existing in Azerbaijan electronic space related to this place.



Nakhchivan  - 2004

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