Category Archives: KAZAKHSTAN

Newly discovered Kazakhstan pyramid may be older than certain Egyptian pyramids

Newly discovered Kazakhstan pyramid may be older than certain Egyptian pyramids

Recently, archeologists in Kazakhstan have unearthed a pyramid-shaped mausoleum about 3,000 years old which makes it older than certain, but not all, pyramids of Egypt.

In the Sary-Arka area close to the city of Karaganda the extraordinary discovery was made, and the team said it was likely built for an ancient king or clan leader.

“Judging by the monumental construction, this mausoleum was built more than 3,000 years ago for a local king,” team member Viktor Novozhenov, from Karaganda State University, told Yahoo News.

“We are going to look inside the mausoleum this week. Everything that we find inside will be sent to the Karaganda Archaeological Museum.”

The team – led by Igor Kukushkin from Karaganda State University – is still in the process of excavating the site, but so far it seems to have been built for a similar purpose as the Egyptian pyramids, with the archaeologists coming across a mausoleum inside the structure.

They say that the mausoleum is about 2 meters (6.6 feet) tall and 15 by 14 meters (49 by 46 feet) long, making it quite small for a pyramid.

“It’s made from stone, earth, and fortified by slabs in the outer side,” Novozhenov told Owen Jarus from Live Science.

The structure of the pyramid is unique as well. Instead of coming to a point like the Great Pyramid of Giza, the newly found structure consists of six stepped layers with a flat top, making it more like a stepped rectangle rather than a true pyramid shape.

Inside, the team found that the pyramid’s burial chamber was likely robbed long ago, leaving only pottery, a knife, and a few bronze objects. There’s no word as yet on whether or not there were human remains buried there.

Going on early evidence, the structure was likely built more than 3,000 years ago, around the time of the Late Bronze Age. But it’s not – despite what some outlets have claimed – the oldest pyramid ever found.

In fact, the Pyramid of Djoser in Sakkara, Egypt, was built about 1,000 years earlier, between 2667 and 2648 BC.

The Great Pyramid of Giza was built around 100 years later, making it older than this new Kazakhstan pyramid – although it will take more time for the team to accurately come up with a date of construction.

Even so, the find is exciting because it will likely shine new light on the Begazy-Dandybai culture that lived in central Kazakhstan.

Researchers already know that mausoleums like the one recently found were reserved for those of high social status – likely kings or clan leaders – but other than that the society remains mysterious.

The team is still excavating the site, so their work has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and it will likely be a while before we can delve into their full findings. But it’s nice to know that there’s a new mystery to explore in the world.

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.”

A Fossilised Skull Has Revealed When The Last ‘Siberian Unicorn’ Lived on Earth

A Fossilised Skull Has Revealed When The Last ‘Siberian Unicorn’ Lived on Earth

The unicorn first emerged nearly 2.5 million years ago but is believed to have disappeared 350,000 years ago.

However, researchers from Tomsk State University in Siberia, Russia, now believe that Elasmotherium Sibiricum may have been around till as recently as 29,000 years ago.

“Most likely, it was a very large male of very large individual age. The dimensions of this rhino are the biggest of those described in the literature, and the proportions are typical,” said Andrey Shpanski, a paleontologist at Tomsk State University.

A 1903 reconstruction of the Siberian Elasmotherium by W. Kobelt gave the animal a thick coat of shaggy hair.

The researchers are still trying to find out how the unicorn survived longer than other species that became extinct hundreds of thousands of years earlier.

According to early descriptions, the Siberian unicorn stood at roughly 2 metres (6.6 feet) tall, was 4.5 metres (14.7 feet) long, and weighed about 4 tonnes.

That’s closer to woolly mammoth-sized than horse-sized. Despite its very impressive stature, the unicorn probably was a grazer that ate mostly grass.

So, if you want a correct image in your head, think of a fuzzy rhinoceros with one long, slender horn protruding from its face instead of a short, stubby one like today’s rhinos. 

The skull, which was remarkably well-preserved, was found in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan. Researchers from Tomsk State University were able to date it to around 29,000 years ago via radiocarbon dating techniques.

Skeleton of the rhino at the Stavropol Museum

Based on the size and condition of the skull, it was likely a very old male, they suggest, but how it actually died remains unknown. 

The question on researchers’ minds is how this unicorn lasted so much longer than those that died out hundreds of thousands of years earlier.

“Most likely, the south of Western Siberia was a refúgium, where this rhino persevered the longest in comparison with the rest of its range,” said one of the team, Andrey Shpanski.

“There is another possibility that it could migrate and dwell for a while in the more southern areas.”

The team hopes that the find will help them better understand how environmental factors played a role in the creature’s extinction, since it seems like some may have lasted a lot longer than previously thought by migrating across great distances. 

Knowing how the species survived for so long, and potentially what wiped it out in the end, could allow us to make more informed choices about the future of our own species, as we find ourselves in a rather perilous situation. 

Mysterious 1,500-Year-Old Stone Complex Unearthed in Kazakhstan

Mysterious 1,500-Year-Old Stone Complex Unearthed in Kazakhstan

Near the eastern shore of Kazakhstan’s the Caspian Sea was discovered a huge, 1500-year-old stone complex constructed by nomadic tribes.

The site comprises various stone structures scattered over around 120 hectares of land or more than 200 American football fields, archaeologists reported recently in the journal Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia.

The archaeologists Andrei Astafiev from the State Mangisto Historical and Cultural Reserves (MANCH) and Evgeniy Bogdanov, from the Russian Academy of Sciences Siberians Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, wrote in an article on the journal, “when the area was examined in detail, several types of stone structures were identified.” The smallest stone structures are only 13 feet by 13 feet (4 by 4 meters), and the biggest is 112 feet by 79 feet (34 by 24 m).

A stone structure and a carved stone that shows an animal.

The structures have been “built from vertically mounted stone blocks,” the archeologists have written. Some of the stones which look like Stonehenge, have carvings of weapons and creatures etched into them.

One of the most spectacular finds is the remains of a saddle made partly of silver and covered with images of wild boars, deer and “beasts of prey” that maybe lions, Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote in their article. The images were etched in relief, sticking out from the silver background.

“The relief decoration was impressed on the front surface,” Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote. The two researchers think ancient artisans designed the images out of leather and glued them onto wooden boards. “Finally, silver plates would have been laid over the shapes and fixed in place,” they said.

Stone-complex discovery

In 2010, a man named F. Akhmadulin (as named in the journal article), from a town called Aktau, was using a metal detector in Altÿnkazgan, which is located on the Mangÿshlak Peninsula, near the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea, when he found parts of a silver saddle and other artifacts. Akhmadulin brought the artifacts to Astafiev who works in Aktau.

“Most of the territory consists of sagebrush desert,” Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote. However, Astafiev found that the desert location where Akhmadulin brought him contained the remains of an undiscovered 120-hectare stone complex. Akhmadulin located the artifacts in one of these stone structures.

“Unfortunately, the socio-economic situation in the region is not one in which it is easy to engage in archaeological research, and it was not until 2014 that the authors of this article were able to excavate certain features within the site,” Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote.

When excavations got underway in 2014, the archaeologists excavated the stone structure where Akhmadulin had found the saddle. They found more saddle parts, along with other artifacts, including two bronze objects that turned out to be the remains of a whip.

Who owned the saddle?

A great deal of work needs to be done to excavate and study the remains of the stone complex, the archaeologists said. “Certain features of the construction and formal details of the [stone] enclosures at Altÿnkazgan allow us to assume that they had been left there by nomad tribes,” Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote.

The design and decorations on the silver saddle indicate that it dates to a time when the Roman Empire was collapsing, and a group called the “Huns” were on the move across Asia and Europe, they said.

“The advance of the Huns led various ethnic groups in the Eurasian steppes to move from their previous homelands,” Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote.

The owner of the saddle was likely a person of considerable wealth and power as the archaeologists found symbols called “tamgas” engraved on the silver saddle above the heads of predators, something that can be “an indication of the privileged status of the saddle’s owner.” These signs may also be a link “to the clan to which the owner of the tamga belonged,” Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote.

The saddle’s silver facing. 
Silver facing from the rear end of a saddle flap found at the site. The image shows a beast attacking another creature while a bird attacks the animal’s nose. More birds are depicted around the edge of the saddle flap.

It’s not exactly clear why the silver saddle was placed in the stone structure, though it may have been created for a ritual purpose or as a burial good, Astafiev and Bogdanov suggested.

They found the remains of one skeleton buried beneath the stone structure; however, the skeleton may date to centuries after the silver saddle was deposited there.  

Research is ongoing, and Bogdanov said the team plans to publish another paper on research into the silver saddle.

Some of the geoglyphs found in northern Kazakhstan.

Bogdanov said the team hopes to make the public aware of the newly found site. “I hope that one day there [will be] a film about the archaeological excavations on the Mangÿshlak, about ancient civilizations and modern inhabitants.

Mysterious 4,000-year-old grave reveals boy and girl buried face to face

Mysterious 4,000-year-old grave reveals boy and girl buried face to face

Mysterious 4,000-year-old grave reveals boy and girl buried face to face
The bodies of a young man and woman inside the grave. The cemetery dates back approximately 4,000 years to the Bronze Age.

In a cemetery dating back about 4000 years, in Kazakhstan, the bodies of a young man and women were discovered buried face to face, probably in their twenties. You might be in a romantic connection they were a couple.

The bodies of a man and woman who died 4,000 years ago have been found buried face-to-face in a grave in Kazakhstan.

Archaeologists discovered the burial in an ancient cemetery that has remains of humans and horses, Kazakhstan archaeologists said in a Kazakh-language statement.

Some of the jewelry and bracelets that were found that belonged to the young man and woman. 
Large ceramic pots were found in the burial. 

The man and woman were buried with a variety of grave goods that includes jewelry (some of which is gold), knives, ceramics, and beads. The remains of horses were also found near the burial.

While some media reports claim that the archaeologists also found the burial of a priestess nearby, the archaeologists made no mention of this in their statement.

While the statement says that the pair is “young” it doesn’t give an age range.

It’s not clear what killed the man and woman or their exact relationship to each other, including whether they were romantically involved.

The rich burial goods suggest that the man and woman came from wealthy families, archaeologists said in their statement.

Archaeological remains found at other sites in Kazakhstan suggest that the pair lived at a time when fighting and conflicts occurred frequently in the region, archaeologists also said.

Excavation of the cemetery and analysis of the remains are ongoing. The archaeological team is led by Igor Kukushkin, an archaeology professor at Saryarka Archaeological Institute at Karaganda State University in Kazakhstan. Live Science was unable to reach Kukushkin at the time this story was published.

Numerous archaeological remains have been uncovered in Kazakhstan. In 2016, a team led by Kukushkin found the remains of a 3,000-year-old, pyramid-shaped mausoleum.

In 2014, a different team of archaeologists identified 50 geoglyphs with various shapes and sizes, including a massive swastika, that appear to date as far back as 2,800 years.