(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists have discovered a unique amulet made from human bone in the grave of a Bronze Age Tagar woman in southern Siberia.
The grave was discovered at the Kazanovka 1 cemetery in the Minusinsk Basin in 2020. It was one of the numerous burials in 16 stone fences built of slabs and limestone.
Mound No. 15 was divided into two enclosures by vertical sandstone slabs.
In one of the pens, the remains of four people were found – three adults and one child. In another, the remains of an adult woman were found.
Her grave was an 8 x 14.6 foot rectangular pit with a stepped border. Large stones lay around the perimeter of the grave, and small stones filled the gaps between them and the border.
The woman was buried in a lying position, her head turned to the west, her arms extended along the entire length of her body. She was carefully decorated for burial.
Next to the basin lay a round bronze mirror with traces of a red leather pouch. Bronze plaques and pins were found near her right shoulder.
The grave also contained the remains of animal offerings. On the lid of the grave was a horse’s head, and large pieces of meat and carcasses of a calf and a sheep were buried with the woman. A bronze knife and an awl in a leather case were found next to the carcasses.
But the most unexpected discovery was an amulet found next to the right elbow of a woman.
The upper part of the amulet was the letter X, consisting of tubular bronze and cap beads strung on a thread, interspersed with carnelian beads.
The lower part was also made of bronze tubular beads with white argillite beads. From this lower part hung the tusk of a wild boar.
And in the center, between them, archaeologists found shreds of what could be a bag of silk fabric, and a fragment of a human costal bone.
In other burials of this region, beads, animal bones, fangs of wild boars or musk deer, claws of birds were found. It is also worth noting that such amulets found in the pool were almost always found in female burials.
Human bones apparently used for ritual purposes have been found in other mounds – a rib bone in a large pot, a wrist bone in a small vessel – but this is the only Tagar amulet found with a human bone.
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