ASTANA – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in conjunction with the Kazakh government has opened a reception area at the Tanbaly (also Tamgaly) historic and archaeological site for tourists and guests to view 3,000-year old artefacts.
The open-air museum is in the Ile-Balkhash zone, the pilot territory of the UNDP project to conserve desert ecosystems. The centre is in the Zhambyl district of the Almaty region
“The opening of the reception area will help increase the flow of people visiting this unique place, giving them the opportunity to learn more about the history of Kazakhstan and to be inspired to preserve treasures abandoned by their ancestors – not only the petroglyphs themselves, but also nature with its flora and fauna,” noted the UNDP press service.
The Tanbaly archaeological complex has been included among the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) World Cultural Heritage Sites since 2004, as some of its most valuable artefacts are the petroglyphs, images carved into natural rock formations. The site has more than 5,000 petroglyphs, most belonging to the Middle Bronze Age and presumably directly related to the intertribal sanctuary. Their composition is unique and has no equals in the world.
Tanbaly also has dozens of other monuments such as settlements, cemeteries, altars and quarries from different epochs.
The tourist zone was established as part of the project called “Enhancing the sustainability of the system of specially protected areas in desert ecosystems through the promotion of biodiversity-compatible livelihoods in and around protected areas,” noted the release. The UNDP global environment fund and the Committee of Forestry and Wildlife of the Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture support the project.
UN and UNESCO regional representatives, as well as the chairman of the committee attended the opening ceremony.