(ORDO NEWS) — In the north of Tuva in the Asian part of Russia is the Chinge-Tei archaeological site. Because of the numerous huge mounded tombs with rich decoration, whose age exceeds 2.5 thousand years, it is called the “Siberian Valley of the Kings”. Details are provided by Nauka w Polsce.
Last year, Polish archaeologists from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow discovered two intriguing graves here. One of them was located in the central part of a destroyed and almost completely demolished mound with a diameter of about 25 m. Its detection became possible thanks to airborne laser scanning, since it was practically invisible to the naked eye.
Two people rested in a wooden burial chamber built on a frame of solid logs. The chamber itself was covered with three layers of beams. The floor of the tomb, in turn, was made of boards. According to researchers, a woman aged about 50 years and a child 2-3 years old were buried here.
Among other things, next to the woman they found gold jewelry, an iron knife, a bronze mirror and a very well-preserved wooden comb decorated with engraved ornaments. According to scientists, a particularly interesting artifact was a golden pectoral – an ornament in the form of a crescent or moon that hung around the neck.
It is noteworthy that such objects, known from the burial mounds of southern Siberia, have so far been found almost exclusively in male graves. “They were considered a symbol of belonging to some social group, caste, maybe warriors – men at least.
Placing it in a woman’s grave is a very interesting departure from this custom. This, of course, proves the unique role of the dead in the community of the inhabitants of the Valley of the Kings,” said the leader of the Polish part of the expedition, Dr. Lukasz Oleshchuk.
He also noted that the woman was buried in the central part of the tomb, located in close proximity to a large mound, which belonged, as the researchers believe, to the prince of nomads. Therefore, they assume that she, like the others buried in this mound, belonged to the princely retinue.
The condition of grave gifts made of organic materials also deserves special attention. In the grave of a woman in a leather bag was a wooden comb connected by a leather loop to a bronze mirror.
The second grave, discovered during the last season of excavations, was located outside the trench surrounding the mound. It was the burial of a teenage child without any additional accessories.
According to scholars, children’s burials along the perimeter of the barrows or just behind the moat surrounding the tomb were a constant element of the burial rite of this early Scythian culture.
In addition, archaeologists have found evidence that a treasure of bronze objects was buried along the perimeter of the mound. This is evidenced by a find in the form of several dozen parts of a horse comb, a bronze ice ax, and an ornament in the form of a goat.
In the 20th century, when these lands belonged to collective farms, deep plowing violated it and it is no longer possible to determine its original location and full maintenance.
It is worth noting that last year, archaeologists continued to study the mound, the excavations of which had begun two years earlier. In total, 10 tombs are now known, arranged in a row along the north-south axis in the western part of the necropolis.
According to researchers, the burials date back to the 6th century BC, when peoples of Scythian origin lived in these areas. According to experts, it was the Aldo-Belskaya culture. In the early Scythian period, the Turano-Udzhuk valley was one of the most important ritual centers of the entire Scythian-Siberian world.
It is from here, from the mountains of southern Siberia, that the people who then dominated the steppes of Eastern Europe originated.
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