“… The slopes of Nyurtse also deserve attention in historical and geographical respect: they often have various images of people and animals carved in hard parts of the rock. Here, by the way, I saw an image of a man riding a horse, a bird that, in its outlines, most resembled a goose; also a sketch of a human face with rays emanating from it in all directions, carved in very rough and incomplete outlines. About these historical objects, however, no legends remained between the local inhabitants, whom I happened to ask, but, judging by the current state of the images, we can attribute them to times very distant, because, although they are carved in solid rock, however, from the atmospheric influence they became very unclear, and some of the figures have been so worn out that it is hard to even notice them…»
R. K. Maak, 1861
The group of Sheremetyevo rock art sites is located on the right bank of the border Ussuri River below the village of Sheremetyevo (Vyazemsky district of the Khabarovsk Krai). Within the group, as of 2020, five petroglyph locations are known, forming two clusters, the southern (Sheremetyevo 1, 2, and 5) and the northern (Sheremetyevo 3 and 4).
The Sheremetyevo petroglyphs were first described by the naturalist R.K. Maak, who visited them in 1859. 35 years later, in 1894, V.A. Alftan documented them.
In 1958, the petroglyphs of Sheremetyevo 1, 2, and 3 were examined, “scalped” and sketched by a detachment of the Far Eastern Archaeological Expedition of the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences under the leadership of A.P. Okladnikov. However, some of the trace papers of this survey were lost under not entirely clear circumstances. Therefore, in 1968, a detachment consisting of M. Ya. Romensky and V.A. Timokhin was sent to Sheremetyevo, who “again made tracing” of the petroglyphs of the Sheremetyevo 2 location. Later, the expedition of A. P. Okladnikov worked at Sheremetyevo in 1970 and 1978. …
Until recently, it was believed that rock paintings in the area of the village of Sheremetyevo are observed exclusively on rocky cliffs. However, in 2012, a local historian from the city of Vyazemsky V. A. Vasiliev reported that he found on the right bank of the Ussuri River between Sheremetyevo 2 and Sheremetyevo 3 three boulders with petroglyphs. The examination of these boulders by the staff of the Khabarovsk Regional Heritage Preservation Center A.R. Laskin and V. V. Osadchuk made it possible to identify and describe a total of five boulders with petroglyphs, originally designated as Sheremetyevo points 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. (Currently, only the boulder originally designated as Sheremetyevo 4 is considered as a separate location, the Sheremetyevo boulders 5, 6, 7 are combined into the Sheremetyevo 5 location, the Sheremetyevo 8 boulder is included in Sheremetyevo 2).
In 2017-2019 all known surfaces and stones with drawings were examined by the 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, and their coordinates were determined. 32 surfaces and stones with petroglyphs are documented. At the sites of Sheremetyevo 2 and Sheremetyevo 3, continuous mapping of rocky cliffs with petroglyphs was carried out. Eight previously unknown stones and surfaces have been identified.
Within the Sheremetyevo group of localities, 42 surfaces and stones with petroglyphs were taken into account, while 9 of them described by V. A. Alftan and A. P. Okladnikov are not currently observed in the area.