ANTIQUITY AND Sacred places

Kyrgyzstan represents a great destination for ethnographic tours. Ancient petroglyphs on
the walls of mountain caves date back to the 8th century BC, and ancient burial grounds
near battlefield sites throughout the country mark the passing of various cultures and
people through Kyrgyz lands. Roughly 5,000 historical and cultural places across the
country offer snapshots of Kyrgyzstan’s ancient past. Excavations in the shallower waters
of Lake Issyk-Kul reveal the architectural remains and preserved artifacts of an advanced
civilization of considerable size.
In southern Kyrgyzstan, the City of Osh in the rich Fergana Valley draws many admirers of
ancient artifacts, mausoleums and mosques. In the heart of the city, Mount Sulaiman-
Too, named for the Prophet Solomon, features 101 human and animal petroglyph sites
and 17 identified ancient places of worship that bear witness to its role in the religious
rites of antiquity. Two 16th century mosques, largely restored, confirm that Sulaiman-
Too served worshippers from both Islamic and pre-Islamic times. Located at the cross-
roads of a Silk Road artery, the mountain is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. Its museum,
built into a cave, displays relics of its history through the ages.

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