Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
covers three areas of a plateau of rocky boulders rising out of the
semi-desert of central Azerbaijan, with an outstanding collection of
more than 6,000 rock engravings bearing testimony to 40,000 years of
rock art. The site also features the remains of inhabited caves,
settlements and burials, all reflecting an intensive human use by the
inhabitants of the area during the wet period that followed the last Ice
Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The site, which
covers an area of 537 ha, is part of the larger protected Gobustan
Outstanding Universal Value
Gobustan has outstanding universal value for the quality and density of
its rock art engravings, for the substantial evidence the collection of
rock art images presents for hunting, fauna, flora and lifestyles in
pre-historic times and for the cultural continuity between prehistoric
and mediaeval times that the site reflects.
Criterion (iii): The rock engravings are an exceptional testimony
to a way of life that has disappeared in the way they represent so
graphically activities connected with hunting and fishing at a time when
the climate and vegetation of the area were warmer and wetter than
The most remote and undisturbed landscapes are the Jinghirdag
Moutain-Yazylytepe hill and Kichikdash Mountain. These areas need to be
fully protected in order to ensure they keep their authenticity. The
most visited site, Boyukdash, has more disturbances in the form of
installations such as a prison and stone quarry, which should be managed
as part of the Management Plan.
The knowledge of the site does not extend evenly across the whole rock
art reservation. It would be desirable for a large-scale survey of the
wider environment to be carried out to ensure the extent of protection
needed to ensure the overall integrity of the rock art corpus.
The legal protective measures for the property are adequate. There is a
need to complete the documentation, put in place active conservation
measures and improve the technical competence of staff to carry out
necessary urgent conservation work.
Built on a site inhabited since the
Palaeolithic period, the Walled City of Baku reveals evidence of
Zoroastrian, Sasanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, and Russian
presence in cultural continuity. The Inner City (Icheri Sheher) has
preserved much of its 12th-century defensive walls. The 12th-century
Maiden Tower (Giz Galasy) is built over earlier structures dating from
the 7th to 6th centuries BC, and the 15th-century Shirvanshahs' Palace
is one of the pearls of Azerbaijan's architecture.
Justification for Inscription
Criterion (iv): The Walled City of Baku represents an outstanding
and rare example of an historic urban ensemble and architecture with
influence from Zoroastrian, Sassanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani,
Ottoman, and Russian cultures.