Petroglyphs of the gorge of the Tamgaly (Tanbaly) were open by Semirechensky group of the Southern Kazakhstan Expedition of Academy of Sciences of Kazakh for the Soviet Socialist Republic under the leadership of Anna Georgiyevna Maximova in September, 1957. Further A. G. Medoyev, A. N. Maryashev, A. E. Rogozhinsky and other researchers were engaged in studying of monuments of the Tamgaly. By the resolution of the Government of RK of October 14, 2003 it was created the State historical and cultural and natural Reserve-Museum of “Tamgaly”, authorized in protection and presentation of a monument. On June 30, 2004 “Petroglyphs of an archaeological landscape of the Tamgaly” were included in the list of world cultural heritage of UNESCO.
The Tamgaly Natural Boundary is widely known by unique petroglyphs the most valuable of which are concentrated in a small picturesque canyon, in the mouth of the gorge. Five main rocky massifs (groups I-V) with petroglyphs of different historical eras here, and also other monuments that located farther from the gorge which are dated from the Bronze Age till the Modernity. Annually Tamgaly complex visiting by large number of tourists from the different cities of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, other CIS countries and foreign countries. However the space intended for survey (in the ratio with the available resources with a total area of 3 800 hectares), is absolutely small. Guests can see only the main petroglyphs on five groups of petroglyphs and also some burials of the Bronze Age. Meanwhile scales of excursion by Tamgaly complex can be increased repeatedly.
It is well-known that Tamgaly is the big complex of archaeological monuments representing huge scientific interest which it is the fullest, in comparison with other monuments of Zhetysu region. These sites characterize the development of spiritual and material culture of the population of the region in the wide chronological range, that continued for more than three millennia. It is recognized, some kind of the “bright flashes” characterizing progress in various spheres of history of mankind took place on a joint of scientific disciplines or in the past, at contacts of societies with various cultures. Petroglyphs of Tamgaly which main part was carved on rocks of the gorge in the Bronze Age, mark similar flash of the graphic culture which reflected changes in the religious and mythological sphere of local population. In spite of the fact that the nature of these cultural interactions isn’t clear yet, it is possible to speak with confidence that at that time the territory of Chu-Ile Mountains served in the shortest way from the Central Kazakhstan to the upper lands of Chu River Valley, roads to the countries the consuming copper and bronze from this mining region where opened. This way was especially brisk during the Middle Bronze, but also later the environment of low Chu-Ile Mountains which were favorably differing from the semidesertic plain adjoining from the North to Tien Shan Mountains attracted nomads of the Early Iron Age and Middle Ages. However petroglyphic art of the Tamgaly has, certainly the local roots that are traced in development of local tradition in which, Tamgaly – important and bright, but nevertheless only one of stages of development of petroglyphic art. It is considered that the tradition of (cultic representations) petroglyphic art gained special development in the historical societies which didn’t have writing. By our opinion, its development stops (is sharply slowed down) in the societies getting a state system, with giving of religion of the official status, with construction of temples, by architectural canons, issued by religious painting. Especially this process amplified with adoption of monotheist religions by the population.