7 sensational finds of Russian archaeologists
Princess Ukok The astounding discovery of archeologists in the Altai Mountains, on the Ukok Plateau, which thundered not only throughout Russia, but became famous throughout the world. In 1993, Novosibirsk archaeologists found there a woman’s burial site, dating back to the V-III centuries BC. Due to the climate of this place, as well as the depth of the burial, the grave was ice-bound, which means it was preserved from decomposition. A few days, trying not to harm the burial, archaeologists melted the ice. In the burial chamber six horses were found under the saddles and with the harness, a larch block with bronze nails. The mummy of a young girl (at the time of her death she was about 25 years old) was well preserved. She was wearing a wig and wearing a silk shirt, wool skirt, felt socks and a fur coat. Scientists argue whether it was a noble person or she belonged to the middle layer of the Pazyryk society. Indigenous Altais believe that floods and earthquakes on their land are connected with the fact that the “princess” was transferred to the museum, and they demand to return it to the Ukok plateau. In the meantime, an amazing exhibit can be seen in the Gorno-Altaisk Museum, where a special extension and a sarcophagus have been created for it with the maintenance of temperature and humidity conditions. 2 Birchbark Letters This discovery went a long way: it was known from the chronicles that they wrote on birch bark in Russia, archaeologists sometimes found tools that they wrote, but assumed that these were hairpins or nails. Birch bark letters were searched near Novgorod, but the Great Patriotic War began, and the search stopped. Only in 1951 at the Nerevsky excavation site was finally found the “Bark letter №1”. To our time, more than a thousand birch bark certificates have been found, and even one birch bark icon. Inhabitants of Novgorod find them when laying communications, and a fragment of “Literacy No. 612” was found by a native of Novgorod Chelnokov in his own flower pot during a flower transplant! Now there are letters from various places in Russia, as well as Belarus and Ukraine. These are official documents, lists, educational exercises, drawings, personal notes, containing a very different vocabulary – from love to obscene. 3 Gold of the Scythians On the vast territory between the Danube and the Don there are many mounds. They remained here from the Scythian tribe, and each mound is “gold-bearing”, because only the Scythians put so much gold in the graves of both nobles and ordinary people. Gold for the Scythians was a symbol of life after death, and therefore it was put in all the mounds and in various forms. The raids on Scythian burial mounds began in the Middle Ages, but even now archaeologists find treasures in them. In one of the kurgans, they found the burial of a warrior woman with weapons and golden beads, in the other a bronze panel depicting the battle of Greeks with Amazons, and in the third, a sheet gold tiara … Hundreds of kilograms of Scythian gold jewelry are filled with collections of the Hermitage and other famous museums. 4 Unknown type of person On March 24, 2010, Nature magazine published a sensational article about a “Denisov man”, love to obscenewere found in the Denisova cave, located in the valley of the Anuy river in Altai. The cave contained the bone of the last phalanx of a child’s finger, three huge molars belonging to a young man, and a phalanx of the toe. Researchers conducted a DNA analysis and found that the remains of the bone date back to 40 thousand years ago. Moreover, the “Denisov man” turned out to be an extinct type of man, whose genome is significantly different from ours. The evolutionary divergence of such a man and Neanderthal occurred about 640 thousand years ago. Later, these people became extinct or partially mixed with Homo sapiens. In the cave itself, archaeologists uncovered 22 layers corresponding to different cultural epochs. Now you can get into this cave to any tourist. 5 White Sea labyrinths Labyrinths are in all parts of the world among peoples at different stages of development. In Russia, the most famous labyrinths are located near the White Sea: there are about forty of them, more than thirty of them on the Solovetsky Islands of the Arkhangelsk Region. All the northern labyrinths are composed of small stones, have in view the form of an oval, and inside are intricate passages leading to the center. Until now, no one knows the exact purpose of the labyrinths, especially since there is more than one type of them. But most often, archaeologists associate them with the cult of the dead and burial rites. In support of this theory, it is said that on the big Zayatsky Island under the stone heaps of a labyrinth, archaeologists discovered the burned-out human bones and stone tools. There is an assumption that the ancient people who lived by the sea believed that the soul of a deceased person was sent across the water to another island, and it should not go back. The labyrinth served this purpose: the soul “wandered” in it and returned to the realm of the dead. Perhaps the maze was used in initiation rites. Unfortunately, the study of labyrinths is difficult, because, digging out a labyrinth, the archaeologist destroys the monument itself. 6 Mammoth blood The freshest archeological find – it was made just two months ago, at the end of May 2013.