A 2,500-year-old grave containing the bodies of an ancient warrior couple, their child and their elderly servant has been discovered in Siberia.
Archaeologists believe the couple were in their 30s and that they were Scythian warriors. Along with the skeletons, former belongings of theirs, including weapons, were found as well.
The grave is located in Khakassia by was found by one of the teams of the Askiz archaeological expedition of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography SB RAS and OOO Arkhgeoproekt. It’s thought this particular burial was part of the Tagar culture which flourished between the 8th and 2nd centuries BC in South Siberia.
While the skeletons of the two women and man were almost perfectly intact, the skeleton of the baby is thought to have been scattered across the grave which is said to have been caused by rodents eating the skin of the deceased.
Dr Oleg Mitko, head of Archeology at Novosibirsk State University, said:
The man and woman lying next to them were about 35 and 45 years old, and the woman at their feet was about 60 or older. Also in the burial were found the remains of a newborn baby no more than a month old, but fragments of its skeleton were scattered throughout the grave, possibly as a result of the activity of rodents.
It’s reportedly quite rare to find the graves in these states – typically peoples’ graves were robbed and ransacked by others knowing that they will have been buried with some of their most important belongings. Senior researcher Yuri Vitalievich Teterin said they repeatedly come across looted graves and that usually the skeletons are scattered around.
Along with the skeletons, the grave had a bronze weapon, a round mirror and a miniature comb made of horn were discovered.
Dr Mitko said:
We have an impressive set of weaponry. We found close fight weapons in a female grave, which is not so typical. The woman had a battle axe.. so she was a part of a warrior strata.
Teterin added, ‘The man had two axes and two bronze daggers. It is a brilliant burial in that there is authentic bronze weaponry.’
Despite researchers describing the younger woman and the man as ‘warriors’, it’s believed they died from an infection rather than from battle as there were no immediate evidence of battle wounds. It’s likely the elderly woman and child died of the infection as well.
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FEDERAL STATE BUDGETARY INSTITUTION OF SCIENCE INSTITUTE OF ARCHEOLOGY AND ETHNOGRAPHY
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