WATCH: Kazakhstan's rock art engravings could give SA a run for its money

Tamgaly, in Kazakhstan, joined UNESCO's World Heritage list in 2004 and with its string of historic petroglyphs, it's no wonder why.

Fans of the Cederberg rock paintings are sure to be mesmerised by these 5 000 carved illustrations that tattoo the rocky landscape of Tamgaly and stretch deep into the region's history.

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In fact, these petroglyphs date back from the second half of the second millennium BC to the beginning of the 20th century. 

They are distributed among 48 complexes with associated settlements and burial grounds and are testimonies to the husbandry, social organisation and rituals of pastoral peoples of the land. 

You're also likely to encounter a huge number of ancient tombs including stone enclosures with boxes and cists (middle and late Bronze Age), and mounds (kurgans) of stone and earth (early Iron Age to the present) in the area.

The central canyon of Tamgaly contains the densest concentration of engravings and what are believed to be 'altars'. This suggests that these kinds of locations were used for sacrificial offerings.

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Some of the art you'll see etched into the rock include symbols of twelve dancing men performing a ritual dance and a woman giving birth.

You'll also find a large amount of animal carvings in the rocks - this traces back to the belief held that the more animal carvings and etchings they made, the more animals they would successfully hunt. 

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While many associate such fine art to be boxed or glassed off in pristine museums - untouchable and far from grasp of the everyday person, these petroglyphs are raw and unrefined in their natural environment and each of its weathered cracks or chips in the stone add to its beauty.

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