Ancient Geoglyphs and Anchor Stone Found Near Astrakhan

Древний якорный камень
Древний якорный камень; фото предоставлено Астраханским областным отделением РГО

Unique objects were found near Astrakhan, in the lower part of the Volga delta. They are similar in characteristics to geoglyphs - giant man-made images on the surface of the earth, lined with stones or cut in the ground in the form of furrows. According to experts, this is an important historical discovery for the Astrakhan region and the entire Caspian region.

“The geoglyphs, as well as some other artifacts, that may be of great historical value, were found by a local resident in December. They were found in an inaccessible area that is flooded from time to time. Geography specialists — archaeologists, historians, oceanologists — have already visited the place of discovery. They conducted an inspection and field work, made preliminary conclusions. It is interesting and at the same time surprising that stones of this kind could have come to us from Kazakhstan or from the Southern Urals. We have not yet found such stones in the Astrakhan region and in the south of Russia as a whole”, - said the chairman of the Astrakhan branch of the Russian Geographical Society Pyotr Bukharitsin.


Остатки древних геоглифов
Остатки древних геоглифов; фото предоставлено Астраханским областным отделением РГО

Geoglyphs are made of sandstone. The nearest quarries of sandstone are hundreds of kilometers from this place - in the Volgograd region and Atyrau, Kazakhstan. The length of the structure is approximately 6 km. For experts, it remains unclear how and why these stones were transferred to Astrakhan. Presumably, they may date back to the 2nd – 1st centuries BC.

“We have already written letters to both - the RGS and the regional government. We wrote that this area must be closed from local residents and tourists and it's status has to be defined somehow as a place of cultural and historical heritage. These stones have already begun to be taken away and giving the status will help to avoid destruction of objects and counteract "black diggers", - said representatives of the RGS.

In addition, a large stone with a hole artificially made and grooves for fixing it was discovered in the same area. Archaeologists have established that this is an anchor stone. Such stones are often found near Derbent and on the Azerbaijani coast of the Caspian. Scientists dated these anchors 9- beg. 13 century AD.

According to representatives of the RGS, all these finds were discovered only now thanks to the burnt reeds. “During the fall and the beginning of winter, there was practically no rain in the region, and the reeds, growing in this area, burned down. Thus, the entire area of ​​finds was exposed and became more accessible to local residents and specialists, despite the territory was hard-to-reach”, - they told in Astrakhan Regional Branch of the RGS.