Category Archives: ASIA

Thousands of Gold and Precious Metal Items Found in Saka Burial Mound

Thousands of Gold and Precious Metal Items Found in Saka Burial Mound

In an ancient funeral mound in Kazakhstan, archeologists have discovered a trove of millennia-old golden jewelry. The Saka was once the home of the remote mountains of Tarbagata, where Kazakhstan meets north China.

The skilled horsemen were nomadic people who moved throughout Eurasia across Iran, India, and Central Asia for hundreds of years — until they were conquered by Turkic invaders in the 4th century A.D. 

It’s believed these glittering objects may have belonged to members of their elite.

The burial mound is one of 200 or so found on the Eleke Sazy plateau.

Although many myths about the people of Saka remain, their metal abilities are well known. Among the findings are intricate earrings shaped like small bells, a necklace studded with precious stones, and piles of chains and gold plates.

Tiny animals have been expertly wrought out of gold. The items show evidence of micro-soldering, a highly sophisticated technique for artifacts estimated to be as much as 2,800 years old.

Precisely who the people buried with these precious treasures are is still unknown, with their graves yet to be excavated by archaeologists.

Zainolla Samashev, the archaeologist in charge of the excavation, said they were believed to be “a man and a woman,” and perhaps “the reigning persons” of that society.

Gold items belonging to the Saka people that were discovered in Kazakhstan.

Perhaps the most famous discovery connected to the Saka occurred in 1969 when archaeologists found the tomb of a prominent warrior outside of Almaty, the country’s largest city.

He had been buried in a wooden casket alongside a total of 4,800 gold adornments, including rings, earrings, a sword, and even a gold-encrusted whip. Some scholars have since suggested that he may have been a young king who died at just 18 years of age.

Some 200 other burial mounds have since been found on the fertile Kazakh plateau, which was regarded as a paradise by Saka kings.

Few have been found with quite so much treasure, however, since widespread looting during the time of Peter the Great depleted many of the burial sites of their riches.

Experts say that the area has become a focus for archaeologists, who hope to find other precious objects in other sites. “There are a lot of burial mounds here and the prospects are very large,” Kazakh archeologist Yerben Oralbai told Mail Online.

The high-level metalwork exhibits the advanced skills of the Saka people

Local politicians are celebrating the discovery, which they say helps to inform them about their ancestors.

“This find gives us a completely different view of the history of our people,” former Prime Minister Danial Akhmetov said, in an interview with Kitco News. “We are the heirs of great people and great technologies.”

New DNA analysis reveals ancient Scythian warrior was a 13-year-old girl

New DNA analysis reveals ancient Scythian warrior was a 13-year-old girl

Throughout Greek mythology there existed a tribe called Amazone, comprising only of women, and a hunting tribe that tamed horses and fought.

While it is said that Amazon exaggerated the tribal tribes that lived on the Black Sea coast, the Scythians of the nomadic horse races that appeared in the record from around the 9th century BC were actually girls of age 13 years old. DNA tests revealed that there was a ‘female warrior’.

The myth of ‘ female warriors ‘ has been considered a purely imaginary product for many years but in the last years, archeological evidence has been found of the existence of female warriors.

Remains of the young ancient Scythian warrior.

By the end of 2019, it was revealed that the two Scythian warriors found in western Russia, buried about 2500 years ago, are women.

The two female warriors were buried together with the other women, and the burial items included an iron knife, over 30 arrowheads, and a harness for horse riding.

It is said that one of them was wearing a headdress with a flower-shaped decoration at the age of 40 to 50 years old, and the other was buried at the age of about 30 to 35 years old, straddling a horse.

‘We can say that these two were indeed horsemen,’ said Valerii Guliaev, an archaeologist at the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Guliaev’s research team seems to have discovered 11 women who were buried under the armed condition in the past 10 years, and female warriors were undergoing the same burial ceremony as male warriors.

The Scythian remains with the headdress

In the wake of Guliaev’s findings, another research team focused on the Scythian warriors found in the Tuva Republic in 1988.

Varvara Busova, an archaeologist at the Russian Academy of Sciences, discovered that the warrior was a young man because he had found burial items such as axes and bows that would normally be housed with men and no burial items associated with women such as beads and mirrors. It was thought to have been.

The warrior was housed in a larch casket with various weapons and was partially mummified.

When the research team examined the DNA of the body, it was found that the body was female and that the age was not even 14 years old. Girl warrior is wearing, such as fur coats, coat dipodidae seems to have been made by Awa connect the skin.

Radiocarbon dating of burial items suggests that the girl was buried between the 7th and 5th centuries BC, but Busova’s research team wants to more accurately identify when the girl was buried. thinking about.

In addition, it may be possible to find out the cause of the girl’s death by performing restoration work of the burial goods and CT scan of the body.

Historian Adrian Mayer pointed out that the Scythians had female warriors because they were small as a social group. ‘Since they lived in a small tribe, it makes sense that everyone in the tribe is a stakeholder. They all had to contribute to defense, war, and hunting.’ Says Mayer.

By Vladimir Semyonov

well preserved 700-year-old mummy found by chance by Chinese road workers

Well preserved 700-year-old mummy found by chance by Chinese road workers

If most people think of mummies, they represent Egyptian culture and complex techniques for mummification aimed at bridging life and death and maintaining the survival of the body.

Whereas most mummies found today are a result of this process, there have been rare occasions where a mummified body is not the result of an intentional preservation process, but of some form of natural preservation.

Chinese road workers discovered the extremely well-preserved remains of a woman dating back 700 years to the Ming Dynasty. This discovery provided much insight into the lifestyle of the people from the Ming Dynasty and left many questions. Who was this woman? And how did she remain so well-preserved over the centuries?

Road-workers discovered the tomb of a woman from the Ming Dynasty in China.

The discovery of the Chinese mummy was quite shocking. In Taizhou, in the Jiangsu Province located in Eastern China, road workers were clearing the way to widen a road.

This task involved digging several feet into the ground. They were digging approximately six feet below the surface when they struck a large, solid object.

They quickly realized that it may be a significant find, so they contacted a team of archaeologists from the Taizhou Museum to excavate the area. They eventually determined that this was actually a tomb, and inside they found a three-layered coffin.

Upon opening one the main coffin, the archaeologists saw layers of silk and linens, covered in a brown liquid. When they looked beneath the linens, they discovered the stunning remains of a female.

The remains were almost completely intact, including her body, hair, skin, clothing, and jewelry. Details such as her eyebrows and eyelashes were still perfectly preserved.

The Ming Dynasty mummy was found in a near-perfect state, though researchers are unclear how she remained so well preserved

Researchers have not been able to definitively establish how old the body is. The woman was believed to have lived during the Ming Dynasty, which dated from 1368 through 1644.

This mean’s the woman’s body could potentially be 700 years old if it dates back to the start of the Dynasty. The woman was dressed in traditional clothing from the Ming Dynasty, and was adorned with several pieces of jewelry, including a striking green ring. From her jewelry and the fine silks she was wrapped in, it is believed that she was a high-ranking civilian.

The coffin also contained bones, ceramics, ancient writings and other relics. The archaeologists who excavated the coffin did not know whether the brown liquid inside the coffin was used intentionally to preserve the body, or if it was just groundwater that had seeped into the coffin.  

However, some researchers have claimed that this body was likely preserved due to being buried in just the right environment. If the temperature and oxygen level in water is just right, bacteria cannot grow, and decomposition can be slowed or halted.

The woman was found lying in a brown liquid which is thought to have preserved the body, although researchers think this may have been accidental.

This discovery provides researchers with an intimate look into the customs of the Ming Dynasty. They have a very clear view of the clothing and jewelry people wore, and some of the relics that were used during the time. This can answer many questions about the lifestyle, traditions, and daily activities of the people from that time.

The finding also opened up many new questions as to what conditions led to the extreme preservation of her body over the course of hundreds of years.

There are also questions about who this woman was, what role she played within society, how she died, and whether any portion of her preservation was intentional.

Due to the secluded nature of this discovery, many of these questions may never be answered, as it can be difficult to provide such answers with only one set of remains. If similar discoveries are made in the future, they may provide the information needed to answer these, and other questions about this woman – the accidental mummy.

15,000 Years Ago, Humans in Israel Ate Snakes and Lizards

15,000 Years Ago, Humans in Israel Ate Snakes and Lizards

New research suggests ancient humans living in what is now Israel regularly dined on lizards and snakes, reports Luke Tress for the Times of Israel.

These people may have developed a taste for reptiles in order to find enough food as they transitioned to living in more permanent settlements ahead of the advent of agriculture.

Published last week in the journal Scientific Reports, the study examines 15,000-year-old fossilized lizard and snake bones found at the el-Wad Terrace cave near Mount Carmel in Israel. El-Wad is situated within the Nahal Me’arot Nature Preserve, which contains a network of caves that provides a window into 500,000 years of human evolution, according to Unesco.

Researchers with the University of Haifa dig up Natufian remains in the Mount Carmel area of northern Israel.

The research centers on excavations at a more recent site attributed to the Natufian culture, which was active in modern-day Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine between 15,000 and 11,500 years ago, per the University of Haifa’s Zinman Institute of Archaeology.

The Natufians are thought to be among the first humans to construct permanent houses and cultivate plants as food, reported Daniel K. Eisenbud for the Jerusalem Post in 2017.

To date, digs at the el-Wad cave have yielded flint and grinding tools, human burials, architectural remains, and animal bones. Though archaeologists can use markings on the bones of larger animals like rabbits or bears to discern if they were butchered for human consumption, smaller lizard and snake bones are more difficult to assess, according to the Times of Israel.

“From the beginning, our excavations in the site of el-Wad Terrace revealed lots of bones of snakes and lizards, usually the vertebras,” study co-author Reuven Yeshurun, an archaeologist at the Universit of Haifa, tells Rossella Tercatin of the Jerusalem Post. “We found them almost every day. We became really curious to understand if people ate them or if they had gotten there by some other process.”

Vertebrates of reptiles studied by University of Haifa archaeologists

To investigate the reptilian vertebrae’s origins, the team conducted a rather unorthodox set of experiments aimed at determining how different processes changed the bones’ structure and appearance.

“We roasted modern snakes’ vertebras in the oven; we tried to chop them and so forth,” Yeshurun tells the Jerusalem Post.

He and his colleagues also exposed the bones to acids that approximated digestion, trampled them, and exposed them to various weather conditions.

After comparing the modern bones with the ancient samples, the researchers posited that the Natufians did, in fact, dine on the many snakes and lizards found near their settlements. Per the paper, reptile species on the group’s menu included the European glass lizard and the large whipsnake.

The legless European glass lizard (Pseudopus apodus) was likely a part of the ancient human diet.

“They were still hunter-gatherers and did not know how to produce food, but they still lived in permanent small communities,” the team tells the Jerusalem Post.

“For this reason, they really needed to come up with numerous methods to procure food. One of the things they did was capturing and eating almost everything. Now we can add a new item to their menu.”

The reptile remains found at el-Wad may represent a combination of leftovers from ancient feasts and animal bones that accumulated naturally over time, reports the Jerusalem Post.

Though the team detected signs of human consumption on nonpoisonous species’ remains, they were unable to identify similar markings on poisonous species, suggesting these reptiles may have died of natural causes.

“We know from historical sources that people ate snakes in the Middle Ages, but until now there was no evidence that they did so 15,000 years ago,” Yeshurun tells the Times of Israel. “It’s very possible that with the help of the method we have developed we’ll find even earlier evidence.”

A mysterious bag containing 54 severed human hands found in Russia

A mysterious bag containing 54 severed human hands found in Russia

Russian police launched an investigation after a mysterious bag of 54 severed human hands was discovered at a popular fishing place near the Siberian city of Khabarovsk, the Siberian Times reports.

In Siberia, a fisherman made a gruesome discovery walking along a riverbank last week: A bag containing 27 pairs of human hands, severed at the wrist.

But according to the Russian government, it’s not the work of a hand-obsessed killer, but a forensics laboratory, which – erk – was improperly disposing of its biowaste.

According to The Siberian Times, the fisherman initially spotted just one hand peeking out of the snow as he walked by the Amur River in the southeastern Russian city of Khabarovsk.

That discovery led the fisherman to the nearby bag, which also contained medical bandages and plastic shoe coverings commonly used in clean facilities such as laboratories and hospitals.

Initially, the provenance of the 54 hands was unknown, but the Investigative Committee of The Russian Federation acted swiftly and determined their origin was a Khabarovsk-based forensics laboratory.

“The biological objects (hands) found are not of a criminal origin, but were disposed of in a manner not provided for by law,” the Committee wrote in a post on Telegram Messenger in Russian.

A macabre bag containing 27 pairs of human hands found in a bag on Amur River island. Mystery over who the hands belonged to, when they were chopped off, and why.

It’s not known why the laboratory severed the hands in the first place. Sometimes hands and feet are the only parts of the deceased recovered, although the sheer quantity in the bag makes that explanation seem unlikely.

The removal may have also been for identification purposes, a practice that is not unheard of. Controversially, back in 1989, a UK coroner severed the hands of 25 disaster victims to record fingerprints before deterioration could set in. But those were extreme circumstances, and the decision attracted significant ire.

Besides, fingerprints can definitely be taken and stored without requiring the hand to be severed from the body.

Russian authorities are conducting an investigation into the incident to find out all of the circumstances surrounding the incident. They’ve only been able to obtain just one set of prints from the hands, but the lab itself will likely yield more information.

“Based on the audit results, a legal assessment will be made of the actions of officials of the forensic medical institution in the city of Khabarovsk responsible for the disposal of these biological objects,” the Investigative Committee wrote.

8th Century Jain Idol Found By Farmer While Ploughing Fields In Southern India

8th Century Jain Idol Found By Farmer While Ploughing Fields In Southern India

A significant discovery was made in India by a farmer working on his land. He uncovered a remarkable Jain statue dated back a thousand years. Traces of a temple are believed to have also been found. The discoveries contribute to the knowledge of the history of the region by researchers as it was an important Jainism center.

Oggu Anjaiah is a farmer from the village of Kotlanarsimhulapalli, in Karimnagar district, which is in the state of Telangana in the south of India. He was plowing his land before the monsoon when he came across something large.

Oggu had plowed up an ancient statue. He alerted other villagers and they immediately realized that it was something sacred. According to Telangana Today, local people “performed pujas to the statue”, meaning acts of worship.

Speculation Over the Identity of Jain Statue

The local authorities were alerted to the find and they visited the site of the discovery. According to The News Minute, experts believe the statue could represent the 24th Tirthankara, Vardhamaana Mahaveer.

He is an important figure, a saint, and a spiritual teacher in Jainism and was crucial in the development of the religion. He is regarded as one of the twenty-four saints of the faith and is still worshiped by Jains to this day. Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that teaches that salvation can be achieved by a life of non-violence and renunciation.

“The idol is reportedly in a Dhyana Mudra (meditation posture)”, reports The News Minute. There is some debate as to the identity of the figure depicted.

Karimnagar Assistant Director of the Archaeology Department, Nagaraju, told The News Minute that “the statue could either be of Adinathudu (Vrushabanathudu) [also known as Rishabhanatha], the first Tirthankara (spiritual teacher) of Jain or the 24th Tirthankara, Vardhamaana Mahaveer.” What is clear, however, is that the statue is of great historic and religious importance.

White stone sculpture of Rishabhanatha (another name for Adinathudu), the first of twenty-four Tirthankara, or spiritual teachers, of Jainism.

Possible Remains of Jain Temple Found Nearby

State archaeologists “found the imprints of a structure (Jain temple) and decided to take up excavation in the half-acre area,” according to Telangana Today.

The structure was similar to modern Jain places of worship and was probably decorated with many reliefs and statues. It is likely that monks from the monastery buried the idol here, though the reasons remain unknown. Nagaraju, the Assistant Director of the Archaeology Department, told The News Minute that the site is some 11 miles (15 km) from a “hillock called Bommalagutta, where there was a Jain monastery.”

Some years ago an idol belonging to the 23rd Jain Theerthankara called Parshvanatha was found in the same fields”, reports The Hindu.

The find is believed to date from the 8 th and 9 th century AD when the Rastrakuta dynasty ruled this region. Their abandoned capital is located not far from the village.

The Rastrakutas adopted Jainism, becoming patrons of the religion, and sponsored the building of temples as part of their policy of promoting the faith. After the fall of this dynasty, Jainism went into decline and Hinduism grew in popularity. During Muslim rule, members of the religion were often discriminated against and there are few adherents of the religion in this part of India today.

Dispute Over Final Resting Place for Ancient Jain Sculpture

Assistant Director Nagaraju, told The Teleangan Times that “more sculptures and structure of Jains may be found at the spot.” The authorities want to move the statue to a regional museum, but the local villagers have so far prevented this.

They want to erect a shrine or temple in the village in order to house the statue. As a result of this stand-off, the idol is now being kept under a tree near where it was found.

Ancient Jain statues have been excavated in the area.

The recent discovery has once again shed some light on the history of Jainism. It has also helped to revive interest in this ancient faith, which now has over 4 million followers in India. A Jain trust has also committed to building a temple in the area if they can secure land.

A farmer found 2,000-year-old Laughing burial skeleton in the tomb of a nomadic royal

A farmer found 2,000-year-old Laughing burial skeleton in the tomb of a nomadic royal

In an ancient burial mound in the tombs of a Nomadic king, along with a “laughing” human with an oddly deformed egg-shaped skull, a farmer dug a pit on his land uncovered 2,000-year-old treasure.

Golden and silver jewellery, weapons, valuables, and artistic household items have been discovered in a grave, in the south of Russia, near the Caspian Sea, next to the chief’s skeleton.

Local farmer Rustam Mudayev’s spade made an unusual noise and it emerged he had struck an ancient bronze pot near his village of Nikolskoye in Astrakhan region. He took it to the Astrakhan History museum for analysis and an expert’s opinion on the find.

Two well-preserved clay jars placed at the head and feet of the man.
Skeleton of high-status Sarmatian warrior discovered near Krasnodar, Russia.
Knife with gold and turquoise decoration 

“As soon as the snow melted we organized an expedition to the village,” said museum’s scientific researcher Georgy Stukalov. “After inspecting the burial site we understood that it to be a royal mound, one of the sites where ancient nomads buried their nobility.”

The burial is believed to belong to a leader of a Sarmatian nomadic tribe that dominated this part of Russia until the 5th century AD, and other VIPs of the ancient world, including a ‘laughing’ young man with an artificially deformed egg-shaped skull and excellent teeth that have survived two millennia.

Skull with egg-shaped skull of deliberate cranial deformation

“We have been digging now for 12 days,’ said Mr. Stukalov. “We have found multiple gold jewellery decorated with turquoise and inserts of lapis lazuli and glass.”

The most ‘significant’ find is seen as a male skeleton buried inside a wooden coffin. This chieftain’s head was raised as if it rested on a pillow and he wore a cape decorated with gold plaques.

Gold plaques from pillow underneath the warrior’s head

Archaeologists found his collection of knives, items of gold, a small mirror, and different pots, evidently signalling his elite status. They collected a gold and turquoise belt buckle and the chief’s dagger along with a tiny gold horse’s head which was buried between his legs, and other intricate jewellery.

Nearby was a woman with a bronze mirror who had been buried with a sacrificial offering of a whole lamb, along with various stone items, the meaning of which is unclear.

Another grave was of an elderly man – his skeleton broke by an excavator – but buried with him was the head of his horse, its skull still dressed in an intricate harness richly decorated with silver and bronze.

Also in the burial mound was the skeleton of a young man with an artificially deformed egg-shaped skull. The shape is likely to have been ‘moulded’ either by multiple bandaging or ‘ringing’ of the head in infancy. Such bandages and or rings were worn for the first years of a child’s life to contort the skull into the desired shape.

Shaping and elongating the skull in this way was popular on various continents among ancient groupings like the Sarmatians, Alans, Huns, and others. Such deformed heads were seen as a sign of a person’s special status and noble roots, and their privileged place in their societies, it is believed.

The burials date to around 2,000 years ago, a period when the Sarmatian nomadic tribes held sway in what is now southern Russia.

“These finds will help us understand what was happening here at the dawn of civilization,” said Astrakhan region governor Sergey Morozov. Excavation is continuing at the site.

Giant Jar Burials Unearthed in Iran

Discovery of bizarre tomb offers clues to ancient life in Iran

Discovering the second giant jar grave on the historic Isfahan Hill has shed new light on ancient human life in the central Iranian city.

The discovery of the second giant jar-tomb in the sole historical hill of Isfahan has shed new light on ancient human life in the central Iranian city.

“Finding the second giant jar-tomb on the historical hill of Isfahan – ‘ Tepe Ashraf ‘ or ‘ Tappeh Ashraf ‘ – confirms a previous hypothesis of a Parthian period cemetery in the eastern part of the hill. Now, Tepe Ashraf is the second place after the Tepe Sialk (in Isfahan province) that has yielded the discovery of such jar tombs that offers valuable clues to uncover the obscure history of pre-Islamic Isfahan,” IRNA quoted senior archaeologist Alireza Jafari-Zand as saying on Friday.

Jafari-Zand, who heads the archaeological excavation at the hill, believes that the cemetery could be covering a large area, adding “When we discovered the first jar-shaped tomb, we assumed that we should reach other ones until yesterday (on June 20) we could discover another one of these tombs embedded in a giant earthen jar.”

The archaeologist is confident that further excavations will lead to the unearthing of other examples of this type of burial places, the report said.

“The discovery of the second jar-shaped burial place in the eastern part of Tepe Ashraf proves to the archaeological hill we may have encountered a Parthian cemetery.”

Over the past couple of days, the team has uncovered ancient stone well estimating to date back to the time of Sassanids.

Some clay works from Seljuk and Buyid dynasties have also been found while workers were digging the ground for water piping of the six-meter well.

Researchers say the square stone well is historically very valuable in terms of its physical shape and form. The well is dug among the rocks and is six meters deep.

“Excavations on Tepe Ashraf began in 2010 and lasted for six seasons. Now, with the operation to save the historical works of the two hills of Jey and Ashraf, important objects were found that could help us in the excavations of the seventh season.”

Jafari-Zand further noted that the pottery found in the projects is amazingly undamaged and they can help a lot to say the exact age of the ancient site of Ashraf and Jey. The artifacts found in this area belong mostly to pre-Islamic periods up to the 5th century AH, he reiterated.

According to this archaeologist, the only place where archaeological excavations have been carried out in Isfahan in the past was the Atigh Grand Mosque, where only two or three pieces from the Sassanid era had been identified, and the rest were from the Islamic period.

Back in 2010, Jafari-Zand announced that his team had found evidence at the site suggesting that the Sassanid site had also been used during the Buyid dynasty (945–1055). “We stumbled upon a reconstructed part in the ruins of the castle, which suggests that the structure had been used during the Buyid dynasty.”

“The bricks used in the rebuilt part are very similar to bricks used in the construction of the Shahrestan Bridge and the Isfahan Congregational Mosque, which date to the Buyid era,” he added.

The archaeologists believe that their excavations at the mound, which is located in the urban area of the city, will be helpful in the development of archaeological studies in the ancient city.

“Isfahan is a city, which has never died over the history… and the old Isfahan is beneath the modern city. Thus, normally, archaeological excavation is impossible in the city,” according to Jafari-Zand who believes that the mount keeps a part of the history of Isfahan and Iran in its heart.

The mound has seriously been damaged on the northern side by the construction of a street. Besides, unscientific excavations carried out by several archaeology interns in 1987 disturbed the historical strata in a part of the site.

Soaked in a rich history, Isfahan was once a crossroads of international trade and diplomacy in Iran during the 16th and 17th centuries, and now it is one of Iran’s top tourist destinations for good reasons. Isfahan is filled with architectural wonders such as unmatched Islamic buildings, bazaars, museums, Persian gardens, and tree-lined boulevards. It’s a city for walking, getting lost in its mazing bazaars, dozing in beautiful gardens, and meeting people.

It has long been nicknamed as Nesf-e-Jahan which is translated into “half the world”; meaning seeing it is relevant to see the whole world.