Category Archives: ASIA

Ancient silver plate adorned with winged gods and griffins is found inside the wooden tomb of a warrior

Ancient silver plate adorned with winged gods and griffins is found inside the wooden tomb of a warrior who died in the 4th century BC in Russia

Expedition members of IA RAS have found a unique plate depicting winged Scythian gods surrounded by griffons during their excavations of the burial ground Devitsa V in Ostrogozhsky District of Voronezh region.

This is the first case of such a finding in the Scythian barrows on Middle Don. No other items depictions of gods from the Scythian pantheon have been found in this area.

“The finding has made an important contribution to our concepts of Scythian beliefs. Firstly, a particular number of gods are depicted at once on one item. Secondly, it has never happened before that an item with depicted gods has been found so far from the north-east of the main Scythian centers,” said the head of the Don expedition, Prof. Valeriy Gulyaev.

Ancient silver plate adorned with winged gods and griffins is found inside the wooden tomb of a warrior who died in the 4th century BC in Russia
Silverplate with a depiction of Scythian Gods and eagle head griffons.

Burial ground Devitsa V—named after the neighbouring village area—was found in 2000 by the Don archaeological expedition of IA RAS.

The site is situated on the hill of the right bank of the river Devitsa and is a group of 19 mounds which are situated in two parallel chains stretched from west to east. However, the significant part of ancient barrows has already disappeared: the necropolis area belongs to an agricultural sector and is being actively plowed.

Since 2010 the site has been systematically studied by the specialists from the Don expedition of IA RAS. During the cemetery excavations, some great discoveries have already been made.

In 2019 in barrow 9 a burial was found which held the remains of a woman-warrior and an old lady in ceremonial female headwear known as a calathus.

In a field season in 2021, the Don archaeological expedition continued studying the necropolis. Archaeologists started the excavation of mound 7 in the central part of the cemetery Devitsa V in the vicinity of barrow 9.

The main grave referred to the Scythian times and dated back to the 4th century BC was located almost under the center of one mound and was a wooden tomb of 7.5×5 meters. In ancient times it was covered with oak half beams which were held by the seventeen large oak pillars on the gravesides. This is the biggest grave among all found in Devitsa V necropolis.

The barrow had already been plundered in ancient times. The robbers laid a wide test pit and “cleaned” a central part of the burial including the skeleton. However, by the time of the plundering the roof of the tomb had already fallen and that is why in the mixture of soil and tree remnants on the gravesides some grave goods have been preserved. Found items completely match the main elements of the Scythian “triad.” Equipment, harness, and “animal style” artifcats were found in a warrior’s grave.

There was a skeleton of a man of 40-49 years old in the grave. Next to his head archaeologists found many small gold semi-sphere plates which were decorated the funeral bed. Along with the skeleton an iron knife and a horse rib (likely, the remains of the ceremonial food), a spearhead, and three javelin’s heads were found.

The scientists have been able to reconstruct the length of the weapon relying on that the counterweights of the lower part of the polearm that have been remained untouched. The spear was about 3.2 meters long, and the javelines’ length was about 2.2 meters.

In the southeast corner of the grave were fragments of three horse harness items: horse-bits, girth buckles, iron browbands, as well as iron, bronze, and bone Scythian pendants.

The archaeologists have also found six bronze plates in the shape of wolves with grin laws which were decorated with horse cheeks—two on each harness. Next to the horse harness was a cut jaw of a young bear which testifies, according to the scientists, to the bear cult at the Scythes of Middle Don.

Apart from it a moulded cup and a big, black-glazed vessel have been found in different parts of the tomb.

In the northeast part of the grave separate from other items and a few meters far from the skeleton a silver square plate nailed by many small silver nails to a wooden base was found. The length of the plate was 34.7 cm, with the width in the middle part 7.5 cm.

READ ALSO: DNA SHOWS SCYTHIAN WARRIOR MUMMY WAS A 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL

In the central part of the plate is a winged figure facing a Goddess of animal and human fertility. The Goddess is known as Argimpasa, Cybele. The upper part of her body is stripped, and there is headwear, likely a crown with horns, on her head.

The Goddess is surrounded on both sides with the figures of winged eagle-headed griffons. Depictions of this type, where the traditions of Asia Minor and ancient Greek are mixed, are often found in excavations of the Scythian barrows of the Northern Sea region, the Dnieper forest-steppe region, and the Northern Caucasus.

The left side of the plate is formed by two square plates decorated with the depictions of syncretic creatures standing in a so-called heraldic pose (in front of each other, close to each other with their paws). From the right side, two round buckles are attached to the plate on each of which one anthropomorphic character with a crown on his head standing surrounded by two griffons is depicted. Who those characters are and which item was decorated by this plate remains an open issue.

3,000-Year-Old Road, Drainage Pipe Unearthed in China

3,000-Year-Old Road, Drainage Pipe Unearthed in China

Relics of drainage pipe, road and rut remains have been found in the ruins of Haojing, an ancient capital city dating back to the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 B.C.-771 B.C.), according to the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology.

The drainage pipe was uncovered in the foundation of the No. 14 building on its central-south edge, which was excavated between 2019 and 2020, the institute said on Wednesday.

Over 3 meters long, the pipe ruins are made of four round earthenware pipes with a diameter of about 25 centimetres, providing physical materials for further studies on the drainage system of the No. 14 building.

Drainage pipe, ancient road unearthed in Xi'an city
Drainage pipe, ancient road unearthed in Xi’an city

Meanwhile, an ancient road with a rut of about 12 meters long was also discovered in the recent excavation. About 1.4 meters below the existing surface, the road extends about 30 meters from west to east with a width of about 6 meters.

The vehicle rut is about 12 meters long and 8 centimetres in depth. It is the first time for the archaeologists to find such road and track remains at the site, said the institute.

READ ALSO: ANCIENT WALLS OF BENIN WERE FOUR TIMES LONGER THAN THE WALLS OF CHINA

The No. 14 foundation site, which covers more than 1,800 square meters, is believed to have been used in the middle to late Western Zhou Dynasty period and is of great importance for further research on the architecture functions, construction techniques and the capital layout of the dynasty.

Haojing site, where the capital city of the Western Zhou Dynasty was located, was excavated in the current city of Xi’an, the capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

The ancient ruins have a total area of around 920 hectares

Intact DNA from a 7,200-year-old Woman reveals Unknown Human lineage

Intact DNA from a 7,200-year-old Woman reveals Unknown Human lineage

Archaeologists have discovered ancient DNA in the remains of a woman who died 7,200 years ago in Indonesia, a find that challenges what was previously known about the migration of early humans.

Intact DNA from a 7,200-year-old Woman reveals Unknown Human lineage
The skeletal remains of the ancient Toalean woman were found nestled among large rocks in a burial pit in Indonesia’s Leang Panninge cave.

The remains, belonging to a teenager nicknamed Bessé, were discovered in the Leang Panninge cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Initial excavations were undertaken in 2015.

The discovery, published in the journal Nature, is believed to be the first time ancient human DNA has been discovered in Wallacea, the vast chain of islands and atolls in the ocean between mainland Asia and Australia.

The DNA was extracted from the petrous part of Bessé’s temporal bone, which houses the inner ear.

Griffith University’s Prof Adam Brumm, who co-led the research, said the intact DNA was a rare find.

“The humid tropics are very unforgiving on DNA preservation in ancient human bones and teeth,” Brumm said.

“There’s only one or two pre-neolithic skeletons that have yielded ancient DNA in all of mainland south-east Asia.

“Elsewhere in the world – in the northern latitudes of Europe, in America – ancient DNA analysis is completely revolutionising our understanding of the early human story: the genetic diversity of ancient humans, population movements, demographic history.”

Initial excavations started in 2015 at the Leang Panninge cave on the island of Sulawesi.

The researchers describe Bessé as a “genetic fossil”. Genetic sequencing showed she had a unique ancestral history not shared by anyone living today, nor any known humans from the ancient past, Brumm said.

Around half of Bessé’s genetic makeup is similar to present-day Indigenous Australians and people from New Guinea and the Western Pacific islands.

“Her ancestors would have been a part of the initial wave of movement of early humans from mainland Asia through these Wallacean islands towards what we today call Sahul, which was the combined ice age landmass of Australia and New Guinea,” Brumm said.

Toalean stone arrowheads. Bessé remains were found alongside prehistoric tools and red ochre.

Surprisingly, Bessé’s DNA also showed an ancient link to east Asia, which challenges what was previously known about the timeline of migration to Wallacea.

“It is thought that the first time people with predominantly Asian ancestry entered the Wallacean region was around about three or four thousand years ago when the first prehistoric neolithic farmers entered the region from Taiwan,” Brumm said.

READ ALSO: THEY REBUILD THE FACES OF EGYPTIAN MUMMIES FROM THEIR 2,000-YEAR-OLD DNA

“If we’re finding this Asian ancestry in a hunter-gatherer person who lived thousands of years before the arrival of these neolithic people from Taiwan, then it suggests … earlier movement of some population from Asia into this region.”

Bessé is also the first known skeleton belonging to the Toalean culture, a group of hunter-gatherers who lived in South Sulawesi between 1,500 and 8,000 years ago.

She was around 17 to 18 years old at the time of burial. Prehistoric stone tools and red ochre were found alongside her remains. Her grave also contained bones of hunted wild animals.

Long-Hidden “Pyramid” Found in Indonesia Was Likely an Ancient Temple

Long-Hidden “Pyramid” Found in Indonesia Was Likely an Ancient Temple

When Dutch colonists became the first Europeans to discover Gunung (Mount) Padang in the early 20th century, they must have been awestruck by the sheer scale of their ancient stone surroundings.

Here, scattered across a vast hilltop in the West Java province of Indonesia, lay the remnants of a massive complex of rocky structures and monuments – an archaeological wonder since described as the largest megalithic site in all of Southeastern Asia.

But those early settlers couldn’t have guessed the greatest wonder of all might lay hidden, buried deep in the ground below their feet.

In controversial new research presented at the AGU 2018 Fall Meeting in Washington, DC, last week, a team of Indonesian scientists presented data to make their case that Gunung Padang is in fact the site of the world’s oldest known pyramid-like structure.

Their research, which has been conducted over the course of several years, suggests that Gunung Padang is not the hill we think it is – but is actually a layered series of ancient structures with foundations dating back some 10,000 years (or even older).

“Our studies prove that the structure does not cover just the top but also wrap around the slopes covering about 15 hectares area at least,” the authors write in the abstract for their new poster.

“The structures are not only superficial but rooted into greater depth.”

Using a combination of surveying methods – including ground penetration radar (GPR), seismic tomography, and archaeological excavations – the team says Gunung Padang is not just an artificial structure, but a series of several layers built over consecutive prehistoric periods.

The topmost, megalithic layer made up of rock columns, walls, paths, and spaces sit above a second layer some 1-3 metres below the surface.

The researchers suggest this second layer has previously been misinterpreted as natural rock formation but is actually another arrangement of columnar rocks organised in a matrix structure.

Below this, the third layer of arranged rocks – containing large underground cavities or chambers – extends as far as 15 metres deep, and this sits upon the lowest (fourth) layer, made of ‘lava tongue’ basalt rock, somehow modified or carved by human hands.

According to the researchers, preliminary radiocarbon dating suggests the first layer could be up to approximately 3,500 old years old, the second layer somewhere around 8,000 years old, and the third layer in the vicinity of 9,500 to 28,000 years old.

As for the purpose of these ancient, vast structures, the researchers – led by geophysicist Danny Hilman Natawidjaja from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences – suggest the ancient pyramid could have had a religious basis.

“It’s a unique temple,” Natawidjaja told Live Science.

For now, that’s speculation, but if the researchers’ other claims about the structures turn out to be right, it’s a major finding that could challenge notions of what prehistoric societies were capable of.

‘It’s huge,” Natawidjaja told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2013. ”People think the prehistoric age was primitive, but this monument proves that wrong.”

Still, not everybody is convinced. Natawidjaja’s research has been the subject of much controversy in Indonesia and elsewhere, with a large number of archaeologists and sceptics criticising the team’s methods and findings.

The latest research presentations – which, for now, remain non-peer-reviewed – will probably add fuel to the fire, but they also give the world a closer glimpse at what could be one of the world’s most ancient and mysterious structures.

As for what that structure really is, only time will tell.

Massive Ancient Wall Discovered in Iran Belongs to Unknown Ancient Civilization

Massive Ancient Wall Discovered in Iran Belongs to Unknown Ancient Civilization

Archaeologists have identified the remains of a stone wall in Iran about the length of the famous Hadrian’s Wall that was built across England by the Romans. 

The wall, which extends about 71 miles (115 kilometres), was found in Sar Pol-e Zahab County in western Iran.

“With an estimated volume of approximately one million cubic meters [35,314,667 cubic feet] of stone, it would have required significant resources in terms of workforce, materials and time,” wrote Sajjad Alibaigi, an assistant professor of Iranian Archaeology at Razi University in Kermanshah, Iran, in an article published online in the journal Antiquity.

This satellite image was taken on July 31, 2019, by the WorldView-2 satellite. The red arrows show a surviving section of the Gawri Wall.

The structure runs north-south from the Bamu Mountains in the north to an area near Zhaw Marg village in the south, Alibaigi wrote. 

Pottery found along the wall suggests that it was built sometime between the fourth century B.C. and sixth century A.D., Alibaigi wrote. “Remnants of structures, now destroyed, are visible in places along the wall.

These may have been associated turrets [small towers] or buildings,” wrote Alibaigi, noting that the wall itself is made from “natural local materials, such as cobbles and boulders, with gypsum mortar surviving in places.”

Though the wall’s existence was unknown to archaeologists, those living near it have long known about the wall, calling it the “Gawri Wall,” Alibaigi wrote. 

The Gawri Wall in the western mountains of Sar Pol-e Zahab; arrows indicate the wall’s line.

A spokesperson for Antiquity said that since Alibaigi’s paper was published, the journal has learned that another group of archaeologists carried out earlier research on the wall; that research was never published in a journal. 

Mysterious wall

Archaeologists are not certain who built the structure, and for what purpose. Because of the poor preservation of the barrier, the scientists aren’t even sure of its exact width and height. Their best estimates put it at 13 feet (4 meters) wide and about 10 feet (3 m) high, he said.

“It is unclear whether it was defensive or symbolic,” wrote Alibaigi, noting that it might mark the border for an ancient empire, perhaps the Parthians (who flourished between 247 B.C. and A.D. 224) or the Sassanians (A.D. 224-651).

Both empires in western Iran built large castles, cities and irrigation systems, so it’s likely that both had the resources to build the Gawri Wall, wrote Alibaigi. 

The newly discovered Gawri Wall is not the only ancient long wall in Iran. Archaeologists have previously found similar structures in the north and northeastern parts of Iran. Those may have had a defensive purpose. 

Alibaigi hopes to carry out more research on the Gawri Wall in the future, he wrote. He did not respond to requests for comment. 

Extremely Well-Preserved Woolly Rhino Is Discovered in Siberia’s Melting Permafrost

Extremely Well-Preserved Woolly Rhino Is Discovered in Siberia’s Melting Permafrost

Melting permafrost in the icy north of Siberia is revealing a veritable graveyard of frozen prehistoric animals.

In recent decades, locals and scientists in the Russian Republic of Yakutia have uncovered the ancient carcasses of two cave lion cubs, a bison, a horse, a baby woolly rhinoceros, and the most intact woolly mammoth ever found. 

As climate change continues to pull back this crucial carpet of ice, we’re bound to uncover more. Close to where the world’s first and, reportedly only, the baby woolly rhino was found, residents have now discovered another of its kind, and this time, the carcass is almost 80 per cent intact.

Extremely Well-Preserved Woolly Rhino Is Discovered in Siberia’s Melting Permafrost
Extremely Well-Preserved Woolly Rhino Is Discovered in Siberia’s Melting Permafrost

Preserved in ice for tens of thousands of years, this juvenile woolly rhino still has its thick, reddish-brown hair, all of its limbs, and most of its internal organs, including its intestines.

The rhino’s horn was found next to the carcass

To date, this furry little creature is the best-preserved woolly rhino found in the Arctic Yakutia and may even be the most intact ever discovered anywhere in the world.

“The young rhino was between three and four years old and lived separately from its mother when it died, most likely by drowning,” palaeontologist Valery Plotnikov from the Russian Academy of Sciences, who made the first description of the find, told The Siberian Times. 

“The gender of the animal is still unknown. We are waiting for the radiocarbon analyses to define when it lived, the most likely range of dates is between 20,000 and 50,000 years ago.” 

The hair on this long-dead creature might look patchy and bedraggled now, but it speaks of a much thicker and luscious past. Looking at the layout of the hairs, scientists think the animal most likely died with its summer coat, although further lab analysis is needed. 

To do that, however, more ice needs to form. Found downstream of the Tirekhtyakh River in August, the rhino carcass is in a particularly tricky spot to access.

The carcass was found by a local resident on the banks of a river in eastern Siberia in August

Yakutia’s vast, remote territory only has a few roads, and in the summertime, many places are only accessible by boat or by air. Not until winter does things start to open up.

This is when a network of temporary ice roads begin to form, allowing truckers to transport goods to the region’s northernmost settlements.

Yet, even without a closer examination of the carcass, it’s clear this find is a big one. Previously, the only other woolly rhino found in this region was an even younger baby named Sasha, and her hair was more strawberry blonde.

Both discoveries have Plotnikov thinking woolly rhinos were already adapted to the freezing climate from a young age. Marks on the horns of this recent one suggest it foraged for food.

“There are soft tissues in the back of the carcass, possibly genitals and part of the intestine,” he told RT. 

“This makes it possible to study the excreta, which will allow us to reconstruct the paleoenvironment of that period.”

The team already has plans to send the rhino to the capital of Yakutia for further analysis. The carcass will then be sent to Sweden, where researchers are working to sequence the genomes of multiple rhinos to better understand their history and why they went extinct.

‘Beautiful’ 900-year-old Crusader sword discovered by a diver off the coast of Israel

‘Beautiful’ 900-year-old Crusader sword discovered by diver off the coast of Israel

A man diving off the coast of northern Israel, not far from his home, recently stumbled onto a 900-year-old sword dated to the time of the Crusades.

'Beautiful' 900-year-old Crusader sword discovered by diver off the coast of Israel
A diver discovered the 900-year-old sword in a natural cove off the coast of northern Israel.

Shlomi Katzin, a resident of the town of Atlit, spotted the sword and other centuries-old artefacts on the sea bed off the Carmel coast, where shifting sands had apparently made them suddenly visible, reports Nicky Blackburn for Israel21c.

The four-foot-long sword was covered in shells and other remnants of sea life. Katzin reported the discovery to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s (IAA) robbery prevention unit.

“The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and evidently belonged to a Crusader knight,” says IAA inspector Nir Distelfeld in a statement.

“It was found encrusted with marine organisms but is apparently made of iron. It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armour and swords.”

Archaeologists had already been monitoring the area, a natural cove that offered shelter to ships for millennia, before Katzin’s find, reports Stuart Winer for the Times of Israel. Earlier discoveries have shown that the site was active as long as 4,000 years ago.

Shlomi Katzin discovered the sword while diving near his hometown.

Unpredictable conditions in the ocean often bring artefacts to the surface; a rise in the number of people diving recreationally in the area means that more of these objects have reemerged in recent years, says Koby Sharvit, director of the IAA’s marine archaeology unit, in the statement.

“Even the smallest storm moves the sand and reveals areas on the seabed, meanwhile burying others,” Sharvit adds.

In addition to the sword, Katzin spotted pottery fragments and stone and metal anchors, per the Jerusalem Post’s Rossella Tercatin.

Starting in the 11th century, leaders of European nations and the Roman Catholic Church sent Crusader armies to the Middle East to seize sites considered holy by Christians from Muslim rulers.

After the Muslim sultan Saladin retook Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, England’s Richard I led an army against him, travelling south along Israel’s coast from Acre to Jaffa and winning what Richard Spencer of the London Times deems a “great but ultimately pyrrhic victory.”

The sword is encrusted with shells and marine organisms.

Since the sword is still covered in encrustations, it’s impossible to say much about it, Sa’ar Nudel, an archaeologist who studies weapons from the Crusades, tells Haaretz’s, Ruth Schuster. The Crusaders and their Muslim Ayyubid and Mamluk opponents all typically used straight swords of similar size and shape, archaeologist Rafi Lewis adds.

“The basic shape of the weapon, a straight sword, didn’t evolve much from the time of the Vikings to the 14th century,” he tells Haaretz.

According to Sharvit, the fact that the sword was found more than 600 feet from the coast suggests it was a Crusader’s weapon. Muslim forces built fortifications along the coast as defences against arriving Christian forces but didn’t travel by sea themselves.

“They destroyed the coastal cities so the Crusaders couldn’t return and reconquer the Holy Land,” the archaeologist says to Haaretz.

The sword is now in the hands of the IAA’s National Treasures Department, per Israel 21c. IAA scientists plan to clean and study the weapon before putting it on display to the public.

Ancient mummy ‘with 1,100-year-old Adidas boots’ died after she was struck on the head

Ancient mummy ‘with 1,100 year old Adidas boots’ died after she was struck on the head

Intriguing new details have emerged about a medieval mummy known for her ‘Adidas’ boots – which she wore more than a millennia ago. The body of the woman was discovered a year ago this week in the Altai mountains region of Mongolia.

And her body and possessions remained so remarkably preserved that experts are still uncovering some of the secrets they keep. Now, scientists have discovered that the mummy suffered a significant blow to the head before her death.  

The Mongolian woman – aged between 30 and 40 – hit headlines in April 2016, thanks to her modern-looking footwear, which some likened to a pair of trainers. In the intervening 12 months, scientists have been working to find out more about the mysterious Mongolian mummy.

Scientists believe the body of a woman (pictured) found in April last year, died up to 1,100 years ago from a blow to the head

And her trademark felt boots – boasting red and black stripes – have been carefully cleaned, with new pictures revealed today by The Siberian Times. Experts from the Centre of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia now believe the woman died up to 1,100 years ago after suffering a serious head wound.

Initial examinations found that ‘it was quite possible that the traces of a blow to the mummy’s facial bones were the cause of her death.

They are still seeking to verify the exact age of the burial, but they estimate it took place in the tenth century – more recently than originally thought.  About the boots, Galbadrakh Enkhbat, director of the Centre, said: ‘With these stripes, when the find was made public, they were dubbed similar to Adidas shoes.

New pictures of the leather boots – which feature red and black stripes and metal buckle work (pictured) – have been released

‘In this sense, they are an interesting object of study for ethnographers, especially so when the style is very modern.’ 

And one local fashion expert. quoted by Siberian Times, said: ‘Overall they look quite kinky but stylish – I wouldn’t mind wearing them now in a cold climate.

‘Those high-quality stitches, the bright red and black stripes, the length – I would buy them now in no time.’ 

The high altitude and cold climate helped to preserve both the woman’s body and her belongings.

And a coating of Shilajit – a thick, sticky tar-like substance with a colour ranging from white to dark brown – that covered her body aided this process.  Some skin and hair can be seen on her remains, which were wrapped in felt.  The woman was buried alongside a number of her possessions – including a handbag and four changes of clothes.

Experts from the Centre of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia (pictured) have worked for the past 12 months to restore the times they found buried
This included a handbag, four changes of clothes, the ‘Adidas’ boots, and numerous practical and everyday objects (pictured)
The items of clothing found, like this jacket (pictured), were decorated with fine embroidery patterns

A comb and a mirror from her beauty kit were also found, along with a knife. Her horse and a saddle with metal stirrups in such good condition that it could be used today were buried as well. But despite her seemingly lavish possessions archaeologists believe she was an ‘ordinary woman of her time, rather than an aristocrat or royal.

The Mongolian woman (pictured) is believed to have been aged between 30 and 40 when she died. Some skin and hair can be seen on her remains, which were wrapped in felt.
Despite her, seemingly lavish possessions (pictured) archaeologists believe she was an ‘ordinary’ woman of her time, rather than an aristocrat or royal
Experts believe she may have been a seamstress, due to a variety of sewing equipment that was found inside her bag (pictured), as well as the embroidery on her clothing

‘Judging by what was found inside the burial, we guess that she was from ordinary social strata,’ added Mr Enkhbat.

‘Various sewing utensils were found with her.

The preserved remains of a horse (pictured) were uncovered at the burial site
A saddle with metal stirrups (pictured) in such good condition that it could be used today was found alongside it

‘This is only our guess, but we think she could have been a seamstress.’ 

‘Inside (her bag) was the sewing kit and since the embroidery was on both the bag and the shoes, we can be certain that the embroidery was done by locals.’ 

The grave was unearthed at an altitude of 9,200ft (2,803 metres) and the woman is believed to be of Turkik origin. It appears to be the first complete Turkic burial in Central Asia.  At the time of the discovery, commenters on Twitter and Facebook made a number of tongue-in-cheek claims that a woman must be a time traveller.

One Twitter user jokingly quipped: ‘Must be a time traveller. I knew we would dig one up sooner or later, another added: ‘Huh? Time-travelling Mummy? Corpse interfered with?.’

Meanwhile, Facebook users said: ‘Loooooool he’s wearing a pair of gazelles’, and ‘Well I must admit, I’ve got a few pair but I ain’t had them that long.’  

SEE ALSO: ANCIENT WARES WITH CLOTTED CREAM CLARIFIED BUTTER FOUND IN MONGOLIA

A host of possessions were found in the grave, offering a unique insight into life in medieval Mongolia. These included a saddle, bridle, clay vase, wooden bowl, trough, iron kettle, the remains of an entire horse, and ancient clothing.

The discovery also appears to be the first complete Turkic burial in Central Asia and the remains were found at an altitude of 9,200 feet. An elaborately embroidered bag is pictured

There were also pillows, a sheep’s head and a felt travel bag in which were placed the whole back of a sheep, goat bones and a small leather bag designed to carry a cup. Archaeologists from the city museum in Khovd were alerted to the burial site by local herdsmen.

The Altai Mountains – where the burial was discovered – unite Siberia, in Russia, and Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan.