Sikachi-Alyan 1

The Sikachi-Alyan 1 rock art site is located on the right bank of the Amur River. It is 0.9 km east of the mouth of an unnamed stream flowing into the Amur below the mouth of the Malyshevskaya channel, on the eastern outskirts of the Nanai national village of Sikachi-Alyan. Distance from Sikachi-Alyan 2 is 1.7 km. Petroglyphs are observed on basalt boulders of a high floodplain. The length of the area of petroglyphs boulders distribution is at least 220 m. Directly above the location of the petroglyphs on the high terrace of Amur River, there is an archaeological site of XI-I millennium B. C. to XI-XII centuries A. D. named Sikachi-Alyan, settlement 1.

During the period of ice drifts and floods, boulders with petroglyphs are intensely affected by water and ice, they move and gradually collapse. The site of the Sikachi-Alyan 1 petroglyphs also suffers from tourist and fishermen vandalism. Remnants of campfires next to the stones with petroglyphs,  inscriptions, and drawings on them are common.

To date, 24 boulders with petroglyphs are known within the Sikachi-Alyan 1 art-rock site. Ten boulders described by A.P. Okladnikov and A.R. Laskin are not currently observed.

Petroglyphs of Sikachi-Alyan 1 were first described by P. I. Vetlitsyn (1873) and were further explored by B. Laufer (1899), N. G. Kharlamov (1930), and A.P. Okladnikov (1935), and then by the expeditions of A.P. Okladnikov ( 1958, 1963, 1969). In the course of these studies, 19 boulders with petroglyphs were identified and described. In 2000, during the monitoring of the preservation of the site, four boulders were moved to the surface of the high floodplain. The works of A.R. Laskin (2003) revealed five more boulders with petroglyphs, at the same time the design institute “Khabarovskgrazhdanproekt” drew up a topographic plan, which indicated the actual position of the boulders.

In 2017-2019, joint efforts of the Center for Paleo-Arts of the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Khabarovsk Regional Heritage Preservation Center, and the RSSDA Laboratory at the site of Sikachi-Alyan 1 carried out a continuous mapping of the floodplain area with petroglyphs and documentation of all known boulders with drawings (14 boulders) with the determination of their coordinates. Three boulders remain undocumented, as they are covered by sandy-silty sediments or trapped by adjacent boulders and are inaccessible.

 

The layout of boulders with petroglyphs
at the Sikachi-Alyan site 1.
Okladnikov, 1971

Since 2017, at Sikachi-Alyan 1, annual monitoring of the movement of boulders and loose alluvium by remote sensing methods has been carried out.

Sikachi-Alyan 1 Petroglyphs