After Tamgaly Tas we drove 260 km north of Almaty to the Altyn Emel National Park. We planned to stay at a local homestay for the night and take two days exploring it. First stop was the visitor’s center to get tickets. Nice faux snow leopard outside. READ MORE…

I visited the Tamgaly-Tas petroglyph site on the banks of the Ili River at the beginning of a two-day trip to the Altyn-Emel National Park. Here follows a quote from an article entitled Kazakhstan: The Petroglyph Site of Tamgaly-Tas, in the book Heritage at Risk: “The stones of Tamgaly-Tas were engraved by the Oirat-Djungar (or Kalmyk) people who were Western Mongol tribes converted to Tibetan Lamaist Tantric Buddhism in the 16th century…. Read More

I first read about the Tamgaly Petroglyphs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in a book on the Bronze Age archaeology of the Scythian Nomads called Kurgans, ritual sites, and settlements — Edited by Jeannine Davis-Kimball Visiting that site was the main purpose of my trip to Kazakhstan, and it wasn’t easy to reach. No tours or tourists were interested in such a place, so I had to hire my own driver to get… Read More

I’m off to Central Asia next week and decided that my usual necklace is too valuable for adventure travel. Thus I created a new one specifically for this trip. One of my goals is to buy more ancient beads and I need examples to show the merchants. This necklace has a Bronze Age pendant–thogchag; from the Gobi Desert, approximately 500BC; a 2,500 BC ceramic bead from Balkh; Tibetan coral; Tibetan turquoise; Afghan… Read More

This year’s fireworks display – Fire Flowers [花火] in Japanese – was held on Saturday, July 29th. Rather than the usual, colorful photos, I decided to try something a bit more artsie-fartsie, and not only used Black and White, but I reversed the images to negative. Now they look much more like Japanese Sumo-e ink drawings. I rather like the effect.