Ughtasar Petroglyphs

See & Do

​The 3,300 meters in elevation is a beautiful mountaintop setting with a small lake, surrounded by even higher peaks, in a valley sprinkled with boulders.

222 km

The Camel Mountain

Stones throughout Armenia are covered with petroglyphs – the rock paintings tell the story of life and traditions of ancient inhabitants of the highlands. A huge collection of petroglyphs (V-IV millennium BC) is located on the mountain plateau of Ukhtasar – a beloved place by ancient pilgrims that today can be reached by off-road vehicles. 

Ughtasar is the site of an important archaeological find, a large petroglyph field on top of Mt. Ughtasar (“Camel Mountain”) about 17.5 km NW of Sissian. The Ughtasar site is located by a small glacier lake nestled in a rim of an extinct volcano that blew itself out in the Pleistocene period. The lake can have ice floes year-round and patches of snow in the area never completely melt. The carvings are found on stones that surround the lake. The number and development of the carvings suggest this field was used over thousands of years, beginning in the Paleolithic era (ca. 12,000 BCE).​

The petroglyphs at Ughtasar are images carved onto black and grey volcanic stone, using stone tools. The petroglyphs at Ughtasar are rich with flora and fauna imagery, along with human and animal images, circles, spirals, dots, lines, and other geometric and abstract forms. There are numerous cosmic symbols, including one for the zodiacal sign Aries and rudimentary calendars carved like wheels for dividing time by using a cross and four circles for the seasons. Geographic elements are also featured: rivers, lakes, springs etc., followed by astronomical bodies and phenomena: the Sun, the Moon, stars, stellar constellations and starry sky, comet, and lightning.​​