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Tomb of frozen Scythian prince discovered in Siberia

A tomb has been discovered in the Tuva Region of Southern Siberia that pre-dates another found in the 1970s close by, in what archaeologists have dubbed the Siberian Valley of the Kings. This is dig, by Gino Caspari, an archaeologist from University of Bern, working with experts from the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The team discovered a kurgan, or a Scythian princely tomb.

The site is within five miles of a similar site excavated in the 1970s and another tomb in the same region excavated in the early twenty-first century. Whereas the Egyptian Valley of the Kings was somewhat looted, this has not been the case as the pyramids in Egypt. A vast array of treasures was discovered in the second tomb with over a thousand gold objects, including a necklace weighing 4.4lb.

The Scythians were originally a nomadic people of Eurasian descent who lived in a wide swathe of land to the east of the Greco-Roman Empire, around eleventh century BC to the second century AD. Although there is evidence of settlement growing along the border with the Greco-Roman empire and that they became rich with gold, which fits in with the grave discoveries.

It is hoped that gold may also be found when the newly discovered Kurgan is further examined. Who knows, in addition to golden grave goods it is even possible an ice mummy may be found. The method of burial, and better weather conditions, that say Egypt, have meant that discoveries have been better preserved. Gino has stated, “We have a great opportunity here archaeological methods have become considerably more sophisticated since the 1970s. Today we have completely different ways of examining material to find out more about the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age”. He also said,”If we’re lucky, we might even find some well-preserved wood carvings or carpets under the stones, or perhaps an ice mummy”.

The kurgans were created with giant stone slabs to insulate the graves below, and this is what means the items found may hopefully be in a great state of preservation.

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