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Scythian Graves Uncovered in Siberia

Monday, January 24, 2022

KRAKÓW, POLAND—Science in Poland reports that a team of researchers excavated two graves at southern Siberia’s Chinge-Tey site, which is known for its many large barrows surrounding a great barrow thought to belong to a nomad prince. One of the 2,500-year-old graves was found in the central part of a barrow measuring about 80 feet in diameter. The wooden burial chamber contained the remains of a woman estimated to have been about 50 years old at the time of death, and a child between the ages of two and three. Next to the woman’s skeleton, the researchers found gold ornaments, an iron knife, a bronze mirror, and a wooden comb decorated with engravings. The comb was attached to the mirror with a piece of leather, and the two items were stored in a leather pouch. “A particularly interesting artifact was a golden pectoral ornament, a decoration hung at the neck in the shape of a sickle or crescent,” said Łukasz Oleszczak of Jagiellonian University. Such pectoral ornaments are usually found in men’s graves, he added. “It seems that, like the others buried in this barrow, she belonged to the prince’s entourage,” Oleszczak said. A second grave, consisting of a pit surrounded by stones, was found in the ditch surrounding this barrow. It held the remains of a teenager who was buried without any grave goods. To read about Scythian warrior women who were buried in what is now Russia, go to "Arms and the Women."

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