Rock carving is one of the oldest fashions of painting; it was a spontaneous way for the ancients to depict the surrounding environment. The Heshan Stone Carvings are one of the kinds. They are a few meters elevated from the hillside of the valley. Although vary in magnitude, they generally stretch out from 0.2 to 2.4 meters long and 0.3 to 3.0 meters wide.
The carvings are incredibly simple yet vivid and intensively expressive. The carvings that centered on humans revealed ancient lives from dancing to hunting, from shooting to horse-riding, from military training to camel riding. The ones pivoting animals portrayed lively scenes such as tigers chasing after cows and sheep.
Among all, the carving of dancing scenes was the most impressive work with amazingly vivid characters radiating emotions, dynamics, passion, joy and even musical rhythm of the time. People were dancing in lines or circles surrounding their herds and animal accompaniers.
No scenes of farming or weapons of swords or spears were found in these carvings indicating that these ancients had a very high probability of being nomads who had no permanent residence and moved from places to places following weather and the seasonal changes in search for food, water and gazing lands. They wore robes and hats with feathers.
According to some anthropological investigation, these carvings to some extend revealed strong desires and passion of the ancient herdsmen for spiritual living and development. They dated back to the times of the ancient Qiang, and they are extremely valuable for archeological and anthropological research.