Gobustan hosts the trail race [PHOTO/VIDEO]

April 25, 2022 5:50 p.m. (UTC+04:00)

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By Laman Ismayilova

The Trail Running Race took place in Gobustan.

More than a hundred runners took part in the marathon, co-organized by the Gobustan State Historical and Art Reserve and the Mountain Sports Club.

The main objective of the race is to promote a healthy lifestyle as well as the ancient heritage of Gobustan and to demonstrate its tourism potential. The winners were awarded with medals.

Trail running is a sporting activity that combines running and, in the case of steep slopes, hiking, that is to say running “on any unpaved surface”. It is similar to both mountain running and hill running.

Trail running normally takes place in warm climates and on good paths.

Unlike road running and track running, it is usually held on hiking trails, often in mountainous terrain, where there can be much steeper ascents and descents.

Today, more and more people are participating in solo backcountry treks.

Settled since the 8th millennium BC, the Gobustan State Historical Reserve is home to more than 600,000 petroglyphs.

These stone and Iron Age figures were carved thousands of years ago and are now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gobustan rock carvings were discovered in 1939 at the foot of Djingirdagh mountain and at the top of Yazili Tepe.

The Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) was fascinated by the rock art of Gobustan. He recognized local boat petroglyphs as the oldest known canoe images in the world.

These ships, similar to ancient Scandinavian ships, prompted him to make sensational assumptions about the connection between Norwegians and Azerbaijanis.

Thor Heyerdahl concluded that the ancestors of the Scandinavians were the migrants from Azerbaijan.

Most rock carvings depict primitive men, animals, battle pieces, ritual dances, bullfights, boats with armed rowers, warriors with spears in their hands, camel caravans, images of the sun and stars.

Apart from petroglyphs, there is also that musical gemstone known as Gaval Dash. It produces a tambourine-like sound when struck in different places.

Another interesting sight is a stone slab with a Latin inscription dating from the first century. The Stone Laboratory was left here by Emperor Domitian’s 12th Roman Legion, indicating that this legion remained there.

Now Gobustan is a real open-air museum, visited by thousands of people from all over the world.

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Laman Ismayilova is the journalist of AzerNews, follow her on Twitter: @Lamiva993

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