SKAT divers study ancient rock drawings

19 August 2016

Scuba divers of the TSU club SKAT made an expedition at the Krasnoyarsk storage reservoir. With Kemerovo archaeologists, they examined rock drawings of the Oglakhty site.

Rock drawings (petroglyphs) created 4,000 - 2,000 years ago are located on the coastal mountainside Oglakhty on the left bank of the Yenisei River. The images of the petroglyphs became difficult to access after the flooding of the Krasnoyarsk storage reservoir in the late 1960s and are gradually being destroyed. Last weekend divers and archaeologists began to study the flooded area of the petroglyphs.

- This area is characterized by most of the drawings being in the variable water level zone, - said Dmitry Vershinin, head of SKAT’s section of underwater expeditions. - Here, the processes of shoreline destruction and erosion occur most extensively. In winter, ice freezes to the rocks and when the water level changes it detaches the rock pieces, thereby destroying the drawings. Our task was to photograph what has been preserved and, if possible, to find new petroglyphs.

Before the flooding of the reservoir, not all petroglyphs were carefully studied and recorded. In addition, the water washed out the centuries-old layer of earth and sand from the rocks, revealing new places with rock drawings of ancient people. So now archaeologists have found previously unknown pictures.

- Unfortunately we have not been able yet to find large paintings that were recorded before the flooding, but maybe we have found something previously unknown, - says Dmitry Vershinin. – The photos were transferred to the archaeologists of Kemerovo State University to study. The current dive was a test, and the search for lost and still unrecorded petroglyphs is planned to continue.