Cave found in the Alay Valley tells about the Silk Road history
An international group of archaeologists, including scientists from the Novosibirsk State University (NSU), carried out a preliminary study of the Alay Valley in Kyrgyzstan. Researchers have discovered the camp and workshops of the Stone Age, the settlements of the Bronze and Iron Ages.
The Alay Valley is located near the border of Kyrgyzstan and China. There trade routes passed from Kashgar (China), one of the key points of the Silk Route.
«The Alay Valley has not been deeply explored by anyone. The archaeological map of the region shows only one Stone Age monument, discovered by Soviet archaeologists in 1975», the NSU press service told.
Researchers also note that now little is known about the human exploration of this region. One of the hypotheses says that the routes, which later became the Silk Road, were first formed by cattle-breeders — people paved trails following the animals migration.
The main find was a cave, in which are artifacts related to different epochs since the Stone Age. Earlier, scientists noticed the similarity of these artifacts with the age of 8-11 thousand years from the Fergana Valley (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan) and the Pamirs.
«The Alay Valley is located just between these two regions, and according to our hypothesis, the ways of migration of the ancient people passed through it. Probably, moving along the precursor of the Silk Road with animals, a man went up into the mountains for the summer and went back to the winter. Moreover, I think it was animals during the migration that showed this route to people», William Taylor, researcher from the Max Planck Institute (Germany), told. The researchers will continue to explore the caves and other objects of the valley.
Interesting that In the spring 2017, scientists from the University of Washington in St. Louis published a study that demonstrated a model of possible cattle seasonal movement in some sections of the Silk Road. Researchers believe that cattle trails and the trade route practically coincide, and livestock owners played a major role in the formation of communications between the western and eastern regions.
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