Medieval Siberian mummies baffle experts

Medieval Siberian mummies baffle experts

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The 34 tombs excavated by archaeologists in Zeleniy Yar have raised more questions than answers. However, there is something that seems clear: in that distant place, 29 kilometers close to the Arctic Circle, it was a commercial crossroads of some importance about a millennium ago. The medieval necropolis includes 11 bodies with skulls broken or, outright, missing and shattered skeletons. Five mummies wrapped in copper were also found. Adult women were not found among the graves, but they have been found three child mummies copper masks, all male.

Equally, a man with red hair was found, protected from chest to foot by copper plates. In his bed were found an iron ax, skins and a bronze head buckle in the shape of a bear. The feet of the deceased are pointing towards the Poluy Gorny River, which is thought to keeps a religious meaning. Researchers have found next to one of the adult mummies an iron fighting knife, a silver medallion and a bronze statuette of birds. But funeral rituals hold too many mysteries even for experts.

Unlike other burial places in Siberia or the Egyptian pharaohs, the objective does not appear to be mummify the remainsHence the statement that its conservation to this day has been a coincidence.

The combination of copper use, which prevented oxidation, and a temperature sinking in the 14th century they are behind good conservation.

Nowhere in the world are there so many mummified remains found outside of permafrost or swamps. It is a unique archaeological site. We are pioneers in everything from removing the object from sandy soil and ending with the possibility of further investigation", he claimed Natalia Fyodorova, of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Furthermore, Fyodorova suggests that the crushing skulls could have been done shortly after death to protect himself from the spells emanating from deceased people.

In 2002 the archaeologists had to stop with the field work due to the opposition from the locals on the Yamal Peninsula. For the local people the archaeologists were disturbing the souls of their ancestors. However, work has been able to resume.

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