The vestibule is the place where visitors are introduced to the museum and its subject matters – petroglyphs. Drawings of Gobustan petroglyphs can be seen on the walls and ceiling on the hall. They are arranged in circular lines, every level having different topic.
Gobustan: UNESCO World Heritage Site
The UNESCO World Heritage List is part of an international endeavour to preserve the most important natural landscapes and cultural sites of our planet for the next generations. Several rock art sites like Gobustan were included in this list. Displays in this room introduce the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape as part of the rich heritage of the rock art of Azerbaijan and the world.
Natural Environment of Gobustan
There is a big difference between the Gobustan known to the creators of the first petroglyphs and the Gobustan of today. In this room, visitors are encouraged to imagine the prehistoric world of lush forests and vast savannahs inhabited by a great variety of animals, and think about the influence of the natural environment on human history and its importance for human well-being.
Archaeological Discovery at Gobustan
The knowledge we have about Gobustan is the result of meticulous research and analysis of petroglyphs and other evidence scientists have discovered during archaeological expeditions. Regular scientific work continues in Gobustan since the 1940s has and itself become a part of Gobustan’s history.
Travelling Through Time
Since people first came to Gobustan, this place has witnessed huge changes in climate, natural environment, population and cultural development. This room demonstrates the breadth of these changes. Beginning with the time of the dinosaurs and ending with Gobustan today, visitors can explore some of the main events in the history of Gobustan and Azerbaijan in general.
The Life of Prehistoric People
The people who created petroglyphs did not stay here just to carve rocks. They built shelters to stay in at night, they collected food, hunted animals, made tools and clothes, celebrated successes and mourned their losses. The everyday life of the Stone Age people is illustrated with displays of original artefacts and artistic representations of some of its aspects.
The Conference Hall
To be intended for celebrating conferences, various local and international measures. The hall is equipped with monitor, 2 loudspeakers and projector. The audience capacity of the hall is 32 people.
This room serves as an introduction to the second part of the exhibition that deals specifically with the petroglyphs of Gobustan. It is wrong to presume that prehistoric art is in any sense primitive. Rather, one should try to approach the meaning it had for its creators. The exhibits of this room demonstrate the sense of beauty and artistic imagination of prehistoric people.
Petroglyphs Through the Ages
Petroglyphs are the most important part of the prehistoric heritage of Gobustan. There are more than six thousand of them, and sometimes they look like complex ornaments that densely cover ancient rocks. With the help of an interactive installation, visitors can learn about the evolution of rock art in Gobustan and see some of the highlights.
Prehistoric Artists of Gobustan
Let‘s try to imagine a Stone Age artist at work. He chooses the rock that will become his canvas, his tools are a couple of hard stones, and it takes many hours for him to create an image that consists of a few curved lines. There is a certain dignity to the whole process that incites imagination and makes us admire prehistoric rock art.
The Meaning of Petroglyphs
Archaeology provides certain clues to the meaning of petroglyphs and the role they played in human lives, but ultimately we have to acknowledge that all we have is our interpretations and guesses. In this room, visitors can learn about the different ways petroglyphs can be interpreted and experience the mystery of the ancient images on the rocks.
Animals and Hunters
Animals were not just food for prehistoric people, but also an important element of their religious beliefs, self-identity, and world view. Animals are displayed in this room in very diverse ways. Visitors can examine animal bones discovered in the archaeological excavations in Gobustan. They can test their ability to recognize animals from the images created by prehistoric artists, and experience what happens when ancient images come to life.
Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
The exhibition finishes with a general view of the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape Reserve. The centrepiece of the room is a three-dimensional map of the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape Reserve. You can also watch a 3D video of a virtual flight above a computer generated image of Gobustan Landscape Reserve.
The Cinema Hall
To be intended to demonstrate films about Gobustan, the history and culture of our country, and lifestyle of people in the ancient period. It is possible to watch movies in 3D format too. Hall is equipped with 7 loudspeakers, monitor, and projector. The audience capacity of the cinema hall is 32 people.