6,000-Year-Old Pre-Viking Artifacts Discovered in Norway as Climate Change Melts Glaciers

6,000-Year-Old Pre-Viking Artifacts Discovered in Norway as Climate Change Melts Glaciers

Over thousands of years, ancient objects hidden in snow and ice in the Norwegian mountains appear at an unprecedented rate, with archeologists trying to gather them all before it is too late.

The research results were remarkable: iron arrowheads from 1,500 years old, tunics from the Iron Age and even the remains of the wooden ski with leather binding left somewhere behind sometime in the year 700.

The cause behind the rapid emergence of these old relics is climate change, which dramatically reduces the alpine ice, which is a time capsule for lost treasures, by low natural snow and hotter summers.

Lars Pilö, an archeologist who works for the county council of Oppland, told Archaeology in 2013 that “ice is a time machine.” “When you’re really lucky, the artifacts are exposed for the first time since they were lost.”

Unlike glaciers, which tend to crush and grind objects as they move down a mountain, the majority of artifacts coming out of Norway are being recovered from ice patches.

These isolated non-moving accumulations of ice and snow are significant to the archeological record because of their extreme stability, with many containing layers of seasonal snowpack dating back thousands of years.

Sections of ice in the Juvfonne snow patch in Jotunheimen, Norway, are an astounding 7,600 years old, according to a 2017 study.

An Iron Age tunic recovered from the Lendbreen ice patch in August 2011. 

Despite their remote setting and scarce visits from modern-day humans, ice patches for thousands of years were veritable hot spots for ancient hunters.

In the summer, reindeer herds often crowd together on the islands of snow and ice to escape pesky, biting botflies, which have a strong aversion to the cooler temperatures. In the past, hunters would follow, losing or forgetting precious equipment along the way that was later buried and preserved in the winter snows.

Some items, such as the 1,600-year-old knife shown in the video below, look as if they were lost only a few decades ago.

Because ice patches in the past have contracted and expanded due to temperature shifts, many of the objects recovered have likely one time or another been exposed and then reburied by snow and ice. They also have a tendency to be carried by meltwater.

As explained on the Secrets of the Ice Facebook page, the 2,600-year-old arrows shown in the image below were washed downslope far from the place they were originally lost.

Arrows discovered in the scree of an ice patch were later determined to date back to 600 B.C.

Some of the most exciting finds are those objects found emerging from the surface of the ice, a sign that they have previously been untouched by melting, according to researchers from the Oppland County Council.

These artifacts are generally exceptionally preserved, with organic materials such as leather and fabric still present. It’s also an indication of the severity of anthropogenic global warming, with certain ice patches in Norway estimated to have retreated to levels last seen during the Stone Age.

“It’s very impressive when you can say this melting ice is 5,000 years old, and this is the only moment in the last 7,000 years that the ice has been retreating,” Albert Hafner, an archaeologist at the University of Bernsays Hafner, told Archaeology. “Ice is the most emotional way to show climate change.”

The preserved remains of a 3400-year-old hide shoe discovered on an ice patch in 2006. Over the last 30 years, some 2,000 artifacts have been recovered from Norway’s melting ice fields.

Unfortunately for archaeologists, the rate of ice loss coupled with the extremely small annual windows of opportunity to scour the alpine patches means some newly exposed items will break down and disappear before anyone has a chance to study them.

“This material is like the library of Alexandria. It is incredibly valuable and it’s on fire now,” George Hambrecht, an anthropologist at the University of Maryland, College Park, told New Scientist.

Right now you might be thinking, “I want to help find and preserve these incredible artifacts!,” and we agree, it sounds like quite the adventure to take a romp into the Norwegian wilderness and possibly stumble upon a well-preserved Viking Sword (see below). The reality, however, is that fieldwork can sometimes be laborious and uncomfortable, with every day at the mercy of Mother Nature’s fickle moods.

That said, the Oppland County Council did accept volunteers last spring and it’s possible, especially with so many finds emerging from the ice each year, that others may be called upon to assist.

“We may not find much (or we could strike the jackpot, who knows),” Lars Pilø wrote last April in the Secrets blog. “It all depends on the melting conditions, and they develop over the summer and during fieldwork. If we are unlucky, the scenery and the team spirit make up for the lack of finds.”

A Viking sword discovered in 2017 and dating back to c. AD 850-950.

‘One of the greatest finds’: experts shed light on Staffordshire hoard

‘One of the greatest finds’: experts shed light on Staffordshire hoard

A collection of Anglo-Saxon gold artifacts known as the Staffordshire hoard has been hailed as ‘one of the greatest finds of British archaeology’ by researchers.

The archaeologist believes the booty originated in a series of Dark Age battlefields, during conflicts between rival English kingdoms. now they believe they were captured in several big mid-seventh century battles.

The gold, dubbed the Staffordshire Hoard, may have been recovered at up to six major military encounters. It is said that this treasure was taken from Northumbria, East Anglia and possibly Wessex by the English Midland kingdom of Mercia.

The collection-the greatest golden treasure ever found – is one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in Britain.

'One of the greatest finds': experts shed light on Staffordshire hoard
Dr. Fern believes the items were taken from Northumbria and East England by Mercian armies from a kingdom in the center of what is now England, The Guardian reports

In an area in south-eastern Staffordshire, archäologists will publish a complete account after ten years ‘ detailed research of hundreds of high-status gold and silver artifacts that a metal detector found a decade ago.

The resulting book, published by the world’s oldest historical organization, describes all of the hoard’s 700 objects, including 4kg of gold items and 1.7kg of silver.

The ancient artifacts amazingly do not seem to reflect the wide range of gold and silver artifacts that would have existed in Anglo-Saxon society.

Research instead suggests the material is almost exclusively military in nature.

Even one of the small number of ecclesiastical objects in the hoard appears to have been of a potential military character. Highlights of the Staffordshire Hoard include golden fittings from up to 150 swords, gold and garnet elements of a high-status fighting knife.

Other notable items include a spectacular gilded silver helmet, an impressive 30cm-long golden cross, a beautiful gold and garnet pectoral cross, a probable bishop’s headdress and what is thought to have been a portable battlefield shrine.

A reconstruction of a gold helmet from the period.

An extraordinarily ornate bishop’s headdress is the world’s earliest surviving example of high-status ecclesiastical headgear.

Dating from the mid-seventh century AD, its presence in an otherwise predominantly military hoard suggests its religious owner may well have been performing a supporting role on a battlefield.

The headdress bears no resemblance to later medieval or modern bishops’ miters and will likely trigger debate among historians as to its stylistic origins, due to its similarity to those worn by early medieval clerics.

The discovery may, therefore, prompt scholarly speculation that the style of headwear worn by senior Christian priests in the early medieval period could have been at least partly inspired by perceived biblical precedent.

The headdress, crafted in gold and inlaid with garnets and white and dark red glass, dates from the period when Christianity was being re-established across many of the local kingdoms that would eventually become England.

It represents the status and prestige of the Church – but, significantly, it is decorated with typical pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon semi-abstract animal designs as well as seven Christian crosses.

If indeed the archaeologists are right in believing it to be potentially an early-to-mid-seventh century bishop’s headdress, it would have been worn, perhaps during royal or other ceremonial events, by the first or second generation of clergy involved in the re-Christianisation of what is now England.

The portable shrine, potentially presided over by the owner of the headdress or a similar senior cleric, was probably designed to be carried into battle on two horizontal poles. Only seven elements of the shrine, all made of gold, have survived.

Evidence of hidden pyramid discovered in Saqqara near Egypt’s oldest pyramid

Evidence of hidden pyramid discovered in Saqqara near Egypt’s oldest pyramid

A 30-year-old archeologist with work experience in Egypt made an impressive report.

It says it has found evidence of a secret pyramid deep below the desert of Saqqara. If it has proven to be correct, that could be said that Egypt has still many other pyramids.

According to the Daily Express, ‘ The last thirty years Dr. Vasko Dobrev has been exploring the area just 19 miles from Giza’s world-famous Pyramid.

During this time he made many amazing discoveries. The specialist has recently appeared on Channel 5, a British television channel. The series starred Tony Robinson, the popular TV character and is called “Opening the Great Tomb of Egypt.”

Development of the Pyramid

Two royal burial sites, located near the old Egyptian capital city of Memphis, were visited by Robinson and Dobrev. This area was crucial in the development of the step-pyramids during the Old Kingdom period.

The first of this type of construction was built here for Pharaoh Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty by the architect Imhotep, but these monuments were not perfected until the reign of Snefru (reigned 2613 to 2589 BC). This Pharaoh, who established the 4th dynasty, constructed three pyramids, of which the best known is the Red Pyramid.

Hunting for a Buried Pyramid

Dobrev claims to have found the remains of a pyramid. He believes that a ‘new Pyramid may lie buried beneath the sand in the area of Saqqara South,’ reports Curiosmos.com.

It is located north-west of the burial place of Pharaoh Pepi I , in Tabbet al-Guesh. Dobrev told Robinson that Saqqara still has more wonders to reveal.

Kneeling statue of Pharaoh Pepi I.

The Egyptologist told the amazed British documentary-maker, that “ Saqqara boasts the first pyramid and a great many more,” according to the Daily Express.

Dobrov believes that all the members of a dynasty were buried here because of its close proximity to Memphis. Not all of the royal burials have been accounted for and he believes this means more pyramids are yet to be found.

The Egyptologist took Robinson to a flat plateau where he believes there are traces of a pyramid. It has remained undiscovered for millennia, he believes. Dobrov is confident that the base of a pyramid built for Pharaoh Userkare (23rd century BC) lies under the sand.

Buried in the Desert Sands

The Egyptologist argues that this pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty did not live long enough for his pyramid to be built. Curiosmos.com quotes Dobrov saying that the monarch, “may have only had time to create the pyramid base .” 

The expert believes that the location was likely the site of the Userkare pyramid because it is near his father’s and other family members’ burial places.

The Egyptologist revealed that there is an unidentified structure underneath the sand in the area that is likely to be man-made because it has right angles.

This was revealed by a scan of the location, conducted using the latest geophysical technology. The structure is estimated to measure 240 ft by 240 ft (80m by 80m), based on the scan. Curiosmos.com reports this is ‘precisely the dimension of a pyramid spanning back to the period when Userkare reigned’.

Scan of the desert where a possible pyramid exists buried beneath the sand. Image Credit: Channel 5 (UK).

Traces of Userkare’s Pyramid?

It appears that the expert found a square structure that could very well be the base of a pyramid. Dobrov provided the British documentary maker with an image of a scan. This showed something unusual beneath the desert sands, however, it is debatable if it is conclusive proof.

There are no indications yet of any future plans to excavate the area where a lost pyramid may be buried. It seems likely that Dobrov will continue to work in the area as he has done for some three decades. If he is proven correct, there could be many more than the 120 currently known pyramids in Egypt.

Divers exploring a shipwreck share video of encounter with enormous alien-like egg sac

Divers exploring a shipwreck share video of encounter with enormous alien-like egg sac

The deep seas reveal the most alien-looking life we will ever have without leaving Earth. Over and over. This was exactly the case at the recent water dive in the vicinity of Ørstafjorden, Norway.

While discovering a shipwreck of the Second World War, according to the BBC, sailors were on their way back, when they stumbled upon a mysterious translucent orb floating just 50 feet above the ocean floor.

At first sight, the giant blob looking totally alien, with a tissue-like material inside it — as large as the strange divers swimming around it — looks.  One of the researchers documented the strange encounter on video.

As it turned out, the otherworldly-looking object was actually a giant squid egg sac.

In the two-and-a-half minute recording of the encounter, divers Ronald Raasch and Nils Baadnes can be seen curiously circling the enormous ball, which appeared translucent in the cloudy water.

As they inspected the orb closer, they shined their flashlights onto the surface of the object’s exterior — illuminating the silhouettes of the swarms of tiny, maggot-like creatures wriggling around inside. The egg sac was likely carrying thousands of baby squids.

The official account for the researchers’ REV ocean vessel tweeted out the full video of the encounter, complete with the divers’ conclusions about the strange-looking orb: “#Mysterysolved! Captain Baadnes & Ronald Raasch discovered this giant gel ball while diving in Orstafjord, which is actually an eggmass of 10-armed.”

These egg masses are very rarely glimpsed because the sacs fill up with water and sink down toward the bottom of the ocean floor, where it is difficult for divers to reach.

But this latest sighting in the deep waters off the shores of Norway isn’t the first time that marine researchers have unexpectedly crossed paths with these giant jelly nurseries.

In 2015, squid expert Danna Staaf captured her encounter with a 13-foot-wide red flying squid egg mass while diving in the Gulf of California. In the subsequently-released study, Staaf noted that the giant egg sac likely functioned as a protective shield for the squid embryos inside it, keeping them safe from predators and parasites.

“We know that mama squid has these special glands in her body that make jelly and she mixes that jelly with her eggs in some way,” Staaf explained in a video published by National Geographic.

“And it’s concentrated. So when she produces it, it’s just a concentrated ball of snot with eggs in it, basically. We don’t know exactly what the chemicals are but they have some reaction, some ability to absorb water and expand in water. And we’ve all seen artificial chemicals like that… but this is just nature’s version of that.”

Todarodes sagittatus, the European flying squid that lives in the Norwegian Sea and which might have been the species that laid the egg sac in question.

The elastic nature of the egg sac is also believed to help maintain enough space between each squid embryo so that each egg can get enough oxygen to somehow support the development of the baby squids.

When Staaf and her team tried to grow young squid inside the laboratory using in vitro fertilization, the embryos — grown without the protective egg sac from their mother — became infected and were unable to mature properly.

One unsolved question still remains from Baadnes’ and Raasch’s recent egg encounter: Which species of squid did the egg sac come from? Although the REV account attributed the eggs to a “10-armed squid,” there are no known squid species with that many tentacles.

It’s difficult to pinpoint which species may have laid the giant egg sac. For one, several different species lay their eggs inside similar jelly-like protectors. The egg sacs between different species aren’t easily distinguishable simply by looking at them, either.

The baby squid visible within the egg sac.

Some possible species known to live in the Norwegian waters are the Boreoatlantic armhook squid (Gonatus fabricii) and the European flying squid (Todarodes sagittatus), but we’ll never know for sure where this enormous egg mass came from.

There is much that scientists still don’t know about these elusive sea creatures and how they breed, and the little we know about these animals might as well make them alien to us after all.

Ancient astronaut theorists take note as scientists trace ancestral home of all humans to southern Africa

Ancient astronaut theorists take note as scientists trace ancestral home of all humans to southern Africa

According to researchers, all modern human beings could have descended from people now in Botswana.

Scientists believe they have discovered for the first time the “cradle of humanity,” where the first modern human beings evolved before spreading throughout the world.

In the prehistoric wetland of Makgadikgadi – Okavango just to the south of the Zambezi River are believed to have flourished.

Researchers have shown that the genetic root of every modern person comes from this region 200,000 years ago, a study of DNA records and migration patterns shows.

The wetland was a warm, lush green Garden of Eden in which early humans thrived before migrating when a wobble in the earth’s axis 130,000 years ago caused the climate to turn dry.  

And direct descendants of these pioneers can still be found living in the arid Kalahari desert today.

The first humans are believed to have developed in the prehistoric Makgadikgadi–Okavango wetland, just to the south of the Zambezi River. Their direct descendants – the Kehoe San people – still live there today
The Zambezi river pouring into Victoria Falls, near to the Kehoe San people’s homeland in Botswana
Zambezi River borders of Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe & Botswana

‘It has been clear for some time anatomically modern humans appeared in Africa roughly 200,000 years ago,’ said the lead researcher, Professor Vanessa Hayes.

‘What has been long debated is the exact location of this emergence and subsequent dispersal of our earliest ancestors.’

Professor Hayes, from Sydney University, studied the DNA of more than 1,200 living African people to pinpoint the origin of modern humanity.

She took samples from people called the Kehoe San, who live in rural Africa and who are known to be the most closely related to the original humans, and people genetically linked to them.

Her team could trace common ancestors of all the distinct groups back to the Makgadikgadi area of Botswana, which they have deemed the origin of man.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, add to existing geological and fossil evidence that proves Lake Makgadikgadi was home to early humans. In the past, scientists have suggested that smaller pockets of humans evolved in various places around Africa before spreading.

But Professor Hayes said the original humans evolved in the Makgadikgadi–Okavango wetland and remained there for a whopping 70,000 years.

‘There was a very large lake,’ she said. ‘By the time modern humans arrived, it was breaking up into smaller ones – creating a wetland.’

And she claims ‘green corridors’ of vegetation grew out of the wetland, which developed from a lake twice the size of the 23,000-square-mile Lake Victoria in Tanzania and Uganda, allowing people to migrate north-east and south-west.

Wetland is one of the healthiest ecosystems for sustaining life and would have been abundant enough for the human species to become established.

The climate then changed, drying out the land and causing the wetland to become what is now a region of salt pans and desert – this forced people to migrate.

Professor Hayes said: ‘The first migrants ventured northeast, followed by a second wave of migrants who traveled southwest.

‘A third population remained in the homeland until today. ‘In contrast to the northeasterly migrants, the southwesterly explorers appear to flourish, experiencing steady population growth.’

‘Lovers of Modena’ Buried Hand-in-Hand Turn Out to Be Men

‘Lovers of Modena’ Buried Hand-in-Hand Turn Out to Be Men

The investigators have shown that a skeleton couple found holding their hands at a tomb in Italy were both men.

When it was discovered in Modena’s Ciro Menotti cemetery in 2009, the skeletons made global headlines.

Their gender could not be determined because it was poorly preserved but it was widely believed that they were a man and a woman.

The University of Bologna and Modena researchers rejected that presumption by testing proteins in their tooth enamel and finding a peptide present only in men in both cases.

But researchers have been able to test proteins on tooth enamel using a new technique to reveal that male skeletons of the 4-6 th century AD are male.

The relationship between the pair remains a mystery, however, researchers say the couple was buried hand-in-hand on purpose.

Some suggest the skeletons – who were of similar age – could be related, such as brothers or cousins.

Other researchers claim they could have been soldiers who died in battle and the burial site was a war cemetery.  

This is the first time two men have been found buried holding hands, researchers at the University of Bologna revealed in Nature journal. 

Using a new technique, researchers were able to test the protein on tooth enamel to reveal the 4-6th Century AD skeletons were male

It is not known if the pair were homosexual, however, it is unlikely that the nature of their relationship would be recognized so clearly by the people who prepared the burial. 

‘At present, there are no other burials of this type,’ Study author Federico Lugli told Italy’s Rai news site. 

‘In the past several graves were found with pairs of individuals laid hand in hand, but in all cases, it was a man and a woman.

What was the link between the two individuals of the Modena burial, instead, remains for the moment a mystery’. 

The new discovery could now help researchers understand ancient funeral practices in Italy. 

Ancient Romans Used Molten Iron to Repair Streets Before Vesuvius Erupted

Ancient Romans Used Molten Iron to Repair Streets Before Vesuvius Erupted

Whilst mostly related to the Vesuvius eruption, Pompeii’s legacy goes beyond the catastrophe and takes account of a vast chapter in history, from pre-Roman temples to astounding frescoes.

As it turns out, the legacy also boasts its fair share of innovative features, as was identified by independent scholars and researchers from the University of Massachusetts and the University of Texas.

To that end, according to a recent paper published in the American Journal of Archaeology in April, the Romans made use of molten iron to repair streets inside Pompeii before the Vesuvius eruption in circa 79 AD.

The study was carried out in 2014, with the assessment revealing how many of Pompeii’s streets were originally paved with stone. But over time, the passage of carts and carriages made their literal marks on the paths, thereby creating small depressions and ruts.

One particular case study revealed how a busy narrow stone-paved street inside the ancient city could get broken down in a matter of few decades.

Now while one of the straightforward solutions entailed repaving these sections with stones, the predicament related to how the process was not only time-consuming but also expensive.

So with typical Roman ingenuity, the ancient repairers tried their hand at an offbeat solution – in the form of pouring molten iron (or heated iron slag) to fill the gaps in the dilapidated streets. Suffice it to say, the molten state rapidly turned into a hardened form after being directed into these ruts and holes, thereby plugging the gaps.

On occasions, the Romans also used ground-up fragments of ceramics and terracotta, along with stone bits, to further fill the ruts and smooth them over.

Now while this solution was relatively cheap and seemingly straightforward, researchers are not certain of how the process of carrying and pouring the hot iron was conducted.

To that end, the iron slag, depending on its type and purity, had to be heated at a very high temperature ranging between 2,012 and 2,912 degrees Fahrenheit (1,100 to 1,600 degrees Celsius).

Interestingly enough, reconstructed models of ancient Roman furnaces have proved how some of the installations could reach such blisteringly hot temperatures.

Furthermore, the archaeologists had noted the deposit residues of heated iron on disparate places on the streets that didn’t need repairing, thus suggesting how the molten iron was sometimes even accidentally dropped during the renovation process.

Judging by such seemingly hasty and offhand techniques, according to one researcher, the dangerous repairing works entailing molten iron were possibly carried by state-sanctioned public slaves (under the directive of the magistrates).

And lastly, the scientists are also trying to analyze the iron composition within many of these Pompeii streets, which, in turn, could provide clues concerning the sources or the locations of the mines during the Roman times.

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.

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