The Onega petroglyphs are the unique engravings on the rock that were discovered during an expedition to study the coast of Lake Onega. According to the research, the rock paintings were from the Neolithic era, dating 5,000—6,000 BC.
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Around 1,200 petroglyphs were spreading in a narrow strip for more than 20 km on the capes of Besov Nos, Karetsky Nos, Peri Nos, etc, and on the 6 coastal islands. The drawings are carved into hard rock granite to a depth of 1–4 mm. Some of them are schematic silhouettes with a single outline, and others were made in the form of solid blocking.
The Onega petroglyphs, located at the north-eastern border of the Republic of Karelia, Russia are the most interesting figures that contain the information of the ancient civilization.
The rock paintings show figures of many ancient symbols that depicted ritualistic scenes and religious ceremonies. In 1848, the curator of the Museum of Mineralogy of St. Petersburg found the first petroglyphs on the shore of Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia. Those petroglyphs were later studied by Swedish researcher Gustaf Hallström at the beginning of the 20th century.
Scientists found the numbers of remarkable symbols in the Lake Onega rocks. For example, circular and half-moon-shaped signs with rays were astonishing.
The most famous petroglyphs at Cape Besov featured 3 huge figures: an anthropomorphic creature (“Demon petroglyph”), an otter (lizard), and burbot (catfish).
According to the local legends, there used to be rituals and sacrifices more than 8,000 years ago, when ancient people served blood to supernatural beings through the crack between stones. In the 15th century, monks from the city of Pudozh church created a massive Orthodox cross next to the left hand of the Demon petroglyph as a sign of fighting evil entities.
The largest figure (swan) is located in the mouth of the Vodla river on the Kochkovnavolok Peninsula. It is 3 meters long.
More than 2,000 petroglyphs were found on the Zalavruga rocks. Among the Onega petroglyphs, there are hunting scenes, heavenly bodies, and other symbols. Many people suggested that the rocks depicted the aircraft of extraterrestrial aliens.
These well-preserved 8,000-year-old rock paintings are unique evidence of the life of ancient people. Petroglyphs of Karelia help to learn about everyday life, culture, beliefs, and various activities of ancient people.
It is difficult to visit the Onega petroglyphs, they are far from the well-trodden routes. Only a few tourists got the opportunity to glimpse this UNESCO heritage.