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Rock Carving1

A Slide Show: Submerging Cultural Heritage in Diamer-Basha Dam Gilgit-Baltistan.

Gilgit-Baltistan is encircled by extremely high and significant mountain ranges which include; the Hindukush, the Western Himalayas, the Pamir and the Karakoram. One of the world’s largest rock art complexes is situated and spread all along the banks of the upper Indus. These records are not only unfolding the unknown and obscure history of this mountainous region but also comprise of one of the world’s largest epigraphical records.
Numerous petroglyphs of unique diversity cover cliffs, rock faces, and boulders accompanying the Indus river from Indus-Kohistan to Baltistan and reaching as for as Ladakh and Tibet. A main cluster, however, occurs between Shatial and Raikot Bridge in Diamer district, extending over more than 100 km. The heart of this complex lies at the foothills of the Nanga Parbat Peak (8,125 m) around Chilas town and Thalpan.
The oldest carvings are comparable to those found in the trans-Pamir, Siberian, and Xingjian regions, dating back to Paleolithic times. These engravings were seen by Durand and Bidulf in the early 20th century and were studied and documented by Prof. Dr. Karl Jattmar and Prof. Dr. A.H. Dani in eighties.
In Diamer district a total of 32,405 petroglyphs are recorded so far. 30,907 of them will be submerged in the Diamer Basha Dam Reservoir including 3,290 inscriptions. More than 80% of them will be submerged and the remaining rock carvings on the slopes will be destroyed by realignment of the new 141 km. stretch of Karakorum High Way.
Local People of Gilgit-Baltistan are demanding that the concerned government departments, and stakeholders of the Diamer Basha Dam shall devise appropriate strategies and plans for preservation and wise use of these cultural, social and indigenous resources.

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