Category Archives: EUROPE

The architect believes Stonehenge once had a thatched roof to form the temple

The architect believes Stonehenge once had a thatched roof to form the temple

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Stonehenge is how any of it is still standing, given the predations of souvenir-hunters and vandals including the great 17th-century architect Sir Christopher Wren. He paid many visits to the ancient monument on Salisbury Plain and his surname can still be seen carved on one of its stones.

Landscape architect Sarah Ewbank believes Stonehenge (pictured) once had a thatched roof

The Victorians were even more destructive, renting chisels to visitors so they could take great chunks of Stonehenge home, and over the centuries farmers purloined stones for building their barns. Perhaps they might all have had more respect for the monument, now a Unesco World Heritage site, had they heard the extraordinary theory being put forward in a new book by 62-year-old landscape architect Sarah Ewbank.  She would have us believe that the Stonehenge we see today represents the ruins of a majestic building that once had a spectacular thatched roof. As mind-boggling as contemplating an upright Tower of Pisa or a Day-Glo Taj Mahal, this may seem as barking as other ideas expounded about Stonehenge over the centuries: that its layout was based on the female private parts, or that it was a site of human sacrifice or a landing pad for aliens.

But Sarah is deadly serious, and she backs up her arguments with the rather ferocious electric saw she keeps in the garage of her pretty Cotswolds cottage near Lechlade, Gloucestershire. The feisty grandmother does not use this to intimidate those who disagree with her — although she is rather frustrated with the academics who have repeatedly refused to engage with her idea that Stonehenge was a Neolithic version of the Royal Albert Hall.

No, the saw is used to fashion ever-more detailed models of how she thinks Stonehenge might have looked. Each has taken about two months to complete and they have got bigger each time. While three earlier models have been banished to the attic, version four is currently taking pride of place in the dining room. Built on a scale of 1:33, it is surprisingly persuasive. The moment you see the familiar stone slabs as the supports for an upper storey you think ‘Ah, yes, of course it was a building. What else could it have been?’

Sarah points out that Stonehenge has a total diameter — some 30 metres — which is almost exactly the same as Shakespeare’s Globe (pictured), a very similarly thatched building

As to what kind of building, Sarah thinks it was an all-purpose Neolithic temple with a large oval hall overlooked by galleries in which crowds might have gathered to hear speakers below.

She points out that the total diameter — some 30 metres — is almost exactly the same as Shakespeare’s Globe, a similarly thatched building in which, several millennia later, the human voice could carry to every audience member.

‘It is unquestionably the right size for an enclosed public venue,’ she says, speculating that the scenes at Stonehenge might have been as boisterous as in Elizabethan times.

‘Maybe there was feasting in the galleries, with dancing and musicians playing below, or perhaps ceremonies took place to welcome in the solstices. It all sounds rather splendid.’

It does indeed, and Sarah contends that archaeologists have under-estimated our Neolithic and Bronze Age forebears who built Stonehenge over centuries, years starting around 5,000 BC.

Building blocks: the basic structure which can be deduced from what is left to this day
Layers upon layers: architect Sarah Ewbank’s theory has an inner wall and doorway
A giant roof: Sarah believes the monument took the shape of an all-purpose Neolithic temple

‘They have assumed they were rough, tough, types who had advanced little from grunting cavemen and were hardy enough to worship outdoors. But we know that the Bronze Age was sophisticated enough to have goldsmiths making absolutely stunning jewellery and they knew how to make copper alloys like bronze.

‘It seems obvious to me that they would have wanted to mark the winter solstice inside, under a roof, not outside in the freezing cold.’ It has taken five years for Sarah to develop her theory with the support of Crispin Scott, a 65-year-old retired Army officer who is her partner of 14 years. They are both divorced, with five grown-up children between them, and Sarah has fitted in her research around her work and their shared hobby of bell-ringing.

‘Initially, Cris couldn’t understand why I was doing it. But as I got more into it, he realised that I was on to something,’ she says.

It has taken five years for Sarah to develop her theory with the support of Crispin Scott, a 65-year-old retired Army officer who is her partner of 14 years. Pictured: One of Sarah’s model
Sarah has been in architecture for more than 40 years and has been involved in consultancy and planning for everything from historic estates to Oxford colleges. Pictured: Sarah’s model

Her interest was first sparked when she saw a TV documentary about new excavations at Stonehenge. ‘I wondered: “Why to keep digging down instead of looking up?”

‘I could see its slabs were of a suitable size to be support piers for a roof and wondered if their layout held clues that would reveal its shape.’

Designing landscapes for more than 40 years, she’s been involved in consultancy and planning for everything from historic estates to Oxford colleges. But this task involved throwing her brain into reverse. Instead of creating a design from scratch, she was trying to deduce what a design might have been from the four concentric formations of stones that make up Stonehenge: an outer and an inner circle, a horseshoe and an oval. None is complete, and indications of where the missing stones once stood have been identified by archaeological investigations.

These suggest that the outer ring consisted of 30 pillars of grey sarsen stone, each about four metres high, somehow transported from quarries on the Marlborough Downs, about 20 miles away. Sarah points to other famous historic buildings — most notably the Parthenon in Athens — whose roofs are supported by similar columns. ‘It’s a common building form,’ she explains.

Sarah has built multiple models of how she see’s how Stonehenge was originally built

It’s believed that these pillars were all originally capped by horizontally placed stones known as lintels. Where these are missing it’s possible to see two knobs on top of each pillar which would have been slotted into two corresponding holes in the bottom of the lintels. Since gravity alone would have been enough to hold the lintels in place, Sarah argues that the knobs and sockets would not have been necessary unless they were supporting something.

‘Their existence suggests that the sarsens’ uprights and lintels were engineered as if to take the load of a roof,’ she says.

While the sarsen stones would have formed an outer colonnade, a wraparound walkway covered by the roof but open to the elements, Sarah believes it’s logical that the hall would have had a wall to give protection from the weather. According to her, the remains of the doorways within that wall can be seen in Stonehenge’s inner circle, made up of smaller bluestones transported from the Preseli mountains in Wales, some 150 miles away.

A sketch showing how Sarah Ewbank, from Gloucestershire, imagines Stonehenge looked

Before metal hinges were available, doors were jointed onto pivoting vertical poles that turned when the door was open or shut. One of the bluestone uprights contains a vertical groove into which such a pole would have fitted perfectly, while the two bluestone lintels remaining contain holes which Sarah thinks may have been used to secure a wooden board containing sockets for the door-poles.

Moving towards the centre of Stonehenge, the next formation is a horseshoe of four trilithons — sets of two stones capped by a lintel — with another taller trilithon at the end. Sarah suggests that all were supports for a central wooden framework spanning the centre of the oval hall, with rafters radiating downwards to the outer circle of sarsen stones to support the roof’s lower slopes.

Innovative: architect Sarah Ewbank

In her view, Stonehenge’s builders would have known exactly how to build the central wooden cradle she posits as holding up the roof because it resembles a large upturned boat. Her final challenge was to find a purpose for the oval of bluestones at the centre of Stonehenge. She concludes that these supported columns held up the balcony. While her fourth model shows this being reached via a spiral staircase, she admits that this is pure guesswork. But she is more confident that our Neolithic predecessors were capable of high-quality carpentry using oaks from the woodlands which covered about a third of Great Britain.

All this begs a question. If Stonehenge really was a building, then how on earth did they go about constructing it?

Using her experiences of shifting weighty objects with very limited resources, Sarah imagines an ingenious arrangement for raising Stonehenge’s wooden trusses, the largest of which she estimates as weighing 20 tonnes. This involves building a high platform on which each truss could be laid flat, with one end butting the top of the lintel before being hoisted upright with ropes.

So what do the experts make of all this? Over the years, Sarah has asked but received no real replies.

‘I would like to sit down and have a sensible conversation with them, but it seems anything challenging the view of a broad consensus of current archaeologists is routinely rejected,’ she says,.

But English Heritage is unlikely to be entering such discussions any time soon. ‘The idea of a roof on Stonehenge wouldn’t make any sense,’ says the monument’s curator, Heather Sebire.

‘Part of the point of the place is the majesty of the stones, so why would you put a roof on them? The bottom line is that there isn’t any evidence for it.’

This doesn’t sit well with Sarah. ‘Just because something hasn’t survived, doesn’t mean it didn’t exist,’ she says, and her book certainly makes a plausible case that the roof on Stonehenge did exist. One thing is certain. Given the huge distances over which the stones had to be transported by land, the construction of Stonehenge was an astonishing technical accomplishment — with or without a roof.

1,500-year-old Visigoth Sarcophagus Found at Roman Villa Site

1,500-year-old Visigoth Sarcophagus Found at Roman Villa Site

Archaeologists from the University of Murcia, financed by the Mula municipal council, the Cajamurcia Foundation, and supported by CEPOAT have excavated a sarcophagus at the site of the Roman necropolis at Los Villaricos, located 5km East of the city of Mula, in Murcia, Spain.

The discovery was made during the summer season of excavations among the ruins of a previously excavated Roman villa, which was abandoned around the 5th century AD.

During the Roman period, Los Villaricos was a large-scale agricultural site, focusing on the production and storage of olive oil.

A closeup of the Visigoth sarcophagus was found at the abandoned Roman farming villa in Spain.

In later years, elements of the villa were repurposed for Christian worship, whilst the villa’s central patio area was used as a necropolis, referred to as the ‘ necropolis ad sanctos ’.

Excavations in this area uncovered a two-metre-long sarcophagus, that is decorated with a swirling geometric pattern and renderings of ivy leaves, whilst a Chi-Rho symbol was carved on its top which is a form of Christogram by superimposing the first two (capital) letters—chi and rho (ΧΡ)—of the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (Christos), in such a way that the vertical stroke of the rho intersects the centre of the chi.

It is believed that the sarcophagus dates from the 6th century AD, during a period when waves of Germanic tribes swept into the former Roman territories, amongst them the Visigoths.

Under the Visigoths, many Roman structures were abandoned or re-purposed, whilst part of the villa site was built over with a small Christian church sometime during the 5-7th century AD.

Rafael González Fernández, professor of Ancient History from the University of Murcia described the discovery as “spectacular and unexpected, which corroborates previous studies on the chronology of the necropolis”.

Can 4.5 Billion-Year-Old Meteorite Hold Secrets of Life on Earth?

Can 4.5 Billion-Year-Old Meteorite Hold Secrets of Life on Earth?

Scientists are set to uncover the secrets of a rare meteorite and possibly the origins of oceans and life on Earth, thanks to Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) funding.

Research carried out on the meteorite, which fell in the UK earlier this year, suggests that the space rock dates back to the beginning of the Solar System, 4.5 billion years ago.

The meteorite has now been officially classified, thanks in part to the STFC-funded studies on the sample.

The Winchcombe meteorite, aptly named after the Gloucestershire town where it landed, is an extremely rare type called a carbonaceous chondrite.

It is a stony meteorite, rich in water and organic matter, which has retained its chemistry from the formation of the solar system. Initial analyses showing Winchcombe to be a member of the CM (“Mighei-like”) group of carbonaceous chondrites have now been formally approved by the Meteoritical Society.

Winchcombe meteorite
An image of one of the fragments of the Winchcombe meteorite.

STFC provided an urgency grant in order to help fund the work of planetary scientists across the UK. The funding has enabled the Natural History Museum to invest in state-of-the-art curation facilities to preserve the meteorite, and also supported time-sensitive mineralogical and organic analyses in specialist laboratories at several leading UK institutions.

Dr. Ashley King, a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum, said: “We are grateful for the funding STFC has provided.

Winchcombe is the first meteorite fall to be recovered in the UK for 30 years and the first-ever carbonaceous chondrite to be recovered in our country. STFC’s funding is aiding us with this unique opportunity to discover the origins of water and life on Earth. Through the funding, we have been able to invest in state-of-the-art equipment that has contributed to our analysis and research into the Winchcombe meteorite.”

The meteorite was tracked using images and video footage from the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFAll), a collaboration between the UK’s meteor camera networks that includes the UK Fireball Network, which is funded by STFC. Fragments were then quickly located and recovered.

Since the discovery, UK scientists have been studying Winchcombe to understand its mineralogy and chemistry to learn about how the Solar System formed.

Dr. Luke Daly from the University of Glasgow and co-lead of the UK Fireball Network said: “Being able to investigate Winchcombe is a dream come true.

Many of us have spent our entire careers studying this type of rare meteorite. We are also involved in JAXA’s Hayabusa2 and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx missions, which aim to return pristine samples of carbonaceous asteroids to the Earth.

For a carbonaceous chondrite meteorite to fall in the UK, and for it to be recovered so quickly and have a known orbit, is a really special event and a fantastic opportunity for the UK planetary science community.”

Funding from STFC enabled scientists to quickly begin the search for signs of water and organics in Winchcombe before it could be contaminated by the terrestrial environment.

Dr. Queenie Chan from Royal Holloway, University of London added: “The team’s preliminary analyses confirm that Winchcombe contains a wide range of organic material! Studying the meteorite only weeks after the fall, before any significant terrestrial contamination, means that we really are peering back in time at the ingredients present at the birth of the solar system, and learning about how they came together to make planets like the Earth.”

A piece of the Winchcombe meteorite that was recovered during an organized search by the UK planetary science community is now on public display at London’s Natural History Museum. 

25,000-year-old human genome recovered from cave soil in the Caucasus, western Georgia

25,000-year-old human genome recovered from cave soil in the Caucasus, western Georgia

Ancient dirt has provided DNA samples that revealed evidence of a previously unknown human species that resided in a Georgian cave more than 25,000 years ago.

A few genome sequences called SAT29 obtained from a single soil sample from the Satsurblia Cave in the Caucasus region in Georgia revealed a possibly unknown population that had inhabited the area.

25,000-year-old human genome recovered from cave soil in the Caucasus, western Georgia
The section of the Satsurblia Cave where the sample was collected.
The Satsurblia Cave, located in Tskaltubo municipality, village. Kumistavi area in Georgia, the United States.

The researchers used an innovative approach that “permits the identification of DNA in samples of environmental material by applying extensive sequencing and huge data analysis resources,” according to a press release about the discovery.

The technique has allowed the recovery of an environmental human genome from a layer of the cave that dates to before the Ice Age, about 25,000 years ago.

The Satsurblia Cave, formed in Sataphlia-Tskaltubo karst massif, was inhabited by people at different times in the Paleolithic Period.

Until that time, the oldest sequenced genome of a human individual from the cave was 10,000 years younger than the current one.

Further, “the analysis of the genetic material has revealed that the SAT29 human-environmental genome represents a human extinct lineage that contributed to the present day West-Eurasian populations,” the release states.

In order to confirm the results, the researchers compared the recovered genome and the genetic sequences from bone remnants from Upper Paleolithic Dzudzuana Cave in the same area, which provided clear evidence of genetic similarity.

In addition to the identified human genome, other mammal genomes which supposedly belonged to a wolf or a bison species were also recovered from the soil samples.

Gelabert et al. retrieved human and mammalian nuclear and mitochondrial environmental shotgun genomes from a 25,000-year-old sediment sample from Satsurblia Cave in Georgia.

The researchers used these sequences to reconstruct the wolf and bison populations in the Caucasus region and upgrade the collected knowledge of the population dynamics of these species.

The next project of the international research team will be to collect samples of ancient fauna and humans from the Satsurblia cave in order to determine their mutual interactions.

Through the extraction of DNA from soil samples, the scientists hope to reconstruct the evolution of past ecosystems and evaluate the effect of climate change on mammal populations.

The research was conducted by an international team led by professor Ron Pinhasi and Pere Gelabert with Susanna Sawyer of the University of Vienna in collaboration with Pontus Skoglund and Anders Bergström of the Francis Crick Institute in London.

Rare Boundary Stone Uncovered in Rome

Rare Boundary Stone Uncovered in Rome

During excavations for a new sewage system, archaeologists unearthed a unique stone outlining the city borders of ancient Rome. It dates from the time of Emperor Claudius in 49 A.D. and was discovered by archaeologists.

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi was on hand for the unveiling Friday of the pomerial stone, a huge slab of travertine that was used as a sacred, military and political perimeter marking the edge of the city proper with Rome’s outer territory.

It was found June 17 during excavations for a rerouted sewer under the recently restored mausoleum of Emperor Augustus, right off the central Via del Corso in Rome’s historic centre.

In ancient Rome, the area of the pomerium was a consecrated piece of land along the city walls, where it was forbidden to farm, live or build and through which it was forbidden to enter with weapons.

At a press conference in the Ara Pacis museum near the mausoleum, Claudio Parisi Presicce, director of the Archaeological Museums of Rome, said the stone had both civic and symbolic meaning.

A detail of an archaeological finding that emerged during the excavations at a Mausoleum is pictured during its presentation to the press in Rome, Friday, July 16, 2021. The monumental pomerial stone is dating back to Roman Emperor Claudio and was used to mark the ‘pomerium’ the sacred boundaries of the ‘Urbe’, the city of Rome, during the Roman empire.

“The founding act of the city of Rome starts from the realization of this ’pomerium,‴ he said of the consecrated area. The stone features an inscription that allowed archaeologists to date it to Claudius and the expansion of the pomerium in 49 A.D., which established Rome’s new city limits.

Raggi noted that only 10 other stones of this kind had been discovered in Rome, the last one 100 years ago.

“Rome never ceases to amaze and always shows off its new treasures,” she said.

The stone will be on display at the Ara Pacis museum, the Richard Meier-designed home of a 1st-century altar until the Augustus museum opens.

Mystery as a fully-sealed bottle of liquid discovered between skeleton’s legs

Mystery as fully-sealed bottle of liquid discovered between skeleton’s legs

Experts at Hull’s largest-ever archaeological excavation believe they’ve made significant progress in unraveling the mystery of a bottle discovered between a skeleton’s legs. The unique blue-colored glass bottle marked ‘Hull Infirmary’ appears to have been placed in a grave at the former Trinity burial cemetery on purpose.

The glass bottle discovered at the Hull burial has the words “Hull infirmary” on it and contains a mysterious brown liquid.

The fully intact sealed bottle also contained an unknown brown liquid. It was discovered earlier this year as part of the major excavation at the site where burials took place between 1783 and 1861.

A 70-strong team of specialist archaeologists have been working there since last year as part of the nearby £355m A63 upgrade scheme on Castle Street in the city centre. They are examining around 1,500 exhumed skeletons.

The site is one of the largest post-medieval cemeteries to have ever been excavated in the north of England and the discovery of the bottle initially raised a few eyebrows.

Osteology supervisor Katie Dalmon explained: “It’s quite normal to find artefacts such as rings, coins, items of clothing and even tableware such as plates in a burial plot but this bottle was quite unusual.

“Not only was it apparently specifically placed between the person’s legs but it was also sealed and was nearly full of liquid.”

The ‘Hull Infirmary’ inscription on the side of the bottle was the first clue in what has become an ongoing piece of archaeological detective work.

The hospital was first established in temporary premises in 1782 – a year before the burial ground opened – and then moved to a purpose-built home in Prospect Street in 1784.

Katie added: “We now know a little bit more about the identity of the body – it’s a woman who was in her 60s at the time of death. We also know she was suffering from residual Ricketts and osteoporosis.

“She was also buried in the middle of a burial stack with the bottle. It was deliberately placed with the individual and was not part of any backfill.”

Tests have also been carried on the mysterious liquid in an effort to establish what it actually is with samples being sent to experts from Nottingham Trent University to carry out a high-tech analysis.

Katie said: “The tests have confirmed the presence of sodium, potassium and phosphorus and have also discounted any pharmaceutical materials being present.

“The results leave us with the likelihood that the liquid is probably urine but they also raise a whole series of other questions.

“What could this mean? Why was it placed there and, if it’s not the urine, what could it be?”

She said another theory being examined was that the liquid might have been a type of phosphate-based tonic drink.

“These were popular in the 19th century when they were advertised as a cure for various medical ailments, including tuberculosis.

“We can’t be exactly sure at the moment so we are carrying out more tests to try to get a definitive answer.”

The team from Oxford Archaeology is expected to spend several years studying all the finding findings from the burial ground. Work on the actual site is due to end next month when the remaining giant tents covering the excavation area will be removed.

Giant Human Skeleton unearthed in Varna, Bulgaria

Giant Human Skeleton unearthed in Varna, Bulgaria

Bulgarian archaeologists discovered giant skeleton remains located at the Black Sea Bay city known as Varna. In the first reports, they suggested that a man lived in the 4th to the 5th centuries and were quite impressed by the size of the bone found in the area.

Due to the size, they only concluded their report that they belonged to a very tall man. Chief Archeologists Valeri Yotov who is part of their team that carries out excavations has been reporting the local media.

On the discovery from the begging but lately has stopped to give any more details which might tell us they are on to something bigger as they skeleton was discovered in the area of the ancient city called Odesos.

Yotov in the past has suggested that the man has died during work and that they were he was buried with his hand laid on his waist and his body pointing to the east was a clear indication he had a ceremonial burial rite and was buried this way.

Reconstructions of the area are being carried out in Varna, which is Bulgarians 3rd largest city and usually called “The Black Sea capital”

The ancient tomb in which the skeletons was found was also discovered during the repair works in the centre of Varna while the repair team dug up the tomb unexpectedly.

Its approximate location has actually been known since the beginning of the 20 th century as told by the Bulgarian National Television report.

However back then it was just briefly explored but sealed away due to constructions, so exploration of this area now is a very interesting job for the local archaeological society.

Archaeologists in this excavation reported that the object, lying on Nezavisimost Square between the city theatre and the State Archive, was located beyond the walls of Odesos, the ancient city that was once situated where Varna is now.

5,000-Year-Old Rock Art Depicting “Celestial Bodies” Revealed in Siberia

5,000-Year-Old Rock Art Depicting “Celestial Bodies” Revealed in Siberia

Rock art images painted some 5,000 years ago during the Bronze Age were made with a sophisticated scientific understanding which has stunned experts. Images, discovered near Karakol village in the Altai Republic in Russia, show alien figures with round horns and feathers on their heads.

The depictions in red, black and white were found in 1985 in a gravesite in a remote village in Siberia have uncovered the extraordinary talent of the prehistoric artists.  

They have found that the red hues in the tomb drawings were made of thermally modified ocher, a clay made from Earth.

5,000-Year-Old Rock Art Depicting “Celestial Bodies” Revealed in Siberia
Celestial’ rock art images by ancient painters some 5,000 years ago were made with a sophisticated scientific understanding which has stunned experts. Paintings from the Altai Mountains of Siberia show alien or heavenly figures with horns and feathers on their heads

The white shades were made by scraping which revealed light-reflecting rock crystals, while soot was used for the black in the paintings. 

Scientists from the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow, Russia’s leading research and development centre for nuclear energy, said that the red colours especially fascinate the experts.

It is apparent that some 5,000 years ago the tomb painters knew how to carry out a chemical reaction in order to create not just a red colour but the precise tones they desired by varying the temperature of heating.

Roman Senin, head of the synchrotron research department at Kurchatov Institute, said: ‘We determined the phased composition of pigments, that is, the structure of the crystal lattice of individual grains of the dye.

‘Some structures are not typical for natural samples but are the product of heat treatment.

‘Simply put, the primitive artist heated the mineral to a certain temperature in order to get the colour he needed.’

Alexander Pakhunov, of Russia’s Institute of Archeology, said: ‘The results of the analysis of the composition of paints used in the funeral rite of Karakol people testify to the ability of the ancient inhabitants of Altai to distinguish pigments by colour and properties.’

The weird and wonderful depictions in red, black and white dating to the Bronze Age were found in 1985 in a remote village but now Russian nuclear scientists have uncovered the extraordinary talent of the prehistoric artists.
It is apparent that some 5,000 years ago the tomb painters knew how to carry out a chemical reaction in order to create not just a red colour but the precise tones they desired by varying the temperature of heating.

Full results of the new study will be presented at the 43rd International Symposium on Archeometry in May 2020 in Lisbon.

It is also clear that ancient people broke off rocks on local mountains already decorated at an earlier time with petroglyphs.

These were then moved into the graves – and superimposed their own fantastical images on stone slabs which were used as the tomb walls.

‘The remains of people buried inside the stone graves were also painted with the same colours, with spots of red ocher found below eye sockets and traces of a black and silvery mineral called Specularite prominent in eyebrows area,’ reported The Siberian Times – 

The earliest images were engravings of elks, mountains goats and running people with round horns on their heads.

White shades were made by scraping which revealed light-reflecting rock crystals, while soot was used for the black in the paintings. It is the red colours that especially fascinate the experts
5,000-Year-Old Rock Art Depicting “Celestial Bodies” Revealed in Siberia
Full results of the new study will be presented at the 43rd International Symposium on Archeometry in May 2020 in Lisbon. It is also clear that ancient people broke off rocks on local mountains already decorated at an earlier time with petroglyphs

On top of the petroglyphs were superimposed pictures of 11 human-like figures. The different colour tones are seen as carrying meanings to the prehistoric people.

While the funeral rites of these ancient mountain-dwellers are not yet understood, the techniques of the painters is now clear, say the scientists. The Karakol artworks date to the early and middle Bronze Age.