Polish and Russian archaeologists find 2,500-year-old skeleton in Siberia

During an expedition in the Touran-Uyuk Valley, also referred to as the "Siberian Valley of the Kings" because of the trove of artifacts found at ancient grave sites in the region.

siberia snow cold 521 (photo credit: Gil Shefler)
siberia snow cold 521
(photo credit: Gil Shefler)

Polish and Russian archaeologists uncovered a 2,500-year-old skeleton with a gold ornament and a bronze mirror in Siberia, Poland's Education and Science Ministry announced last month.

During an expedition in the Touran-Uyuk Valley, also referred to as the "Siberian Valley of the Kings" because of the trove of artifacts found at ancient grave sites in the region, numerous artifacts were discovered.

According to the ministry, archaeologists from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, found two such graves last year.

Using aerial lasers, the archaeologists scanned the area and discovered a wooden chamber with two bodies inside, one belonging to a woman who was 50 years old when she died and a child who was between 2 and 3 years old.

The team found numerous artifacts beside the woman's body, including a bronze mirror, gold ornaments, an iron knife and a wooden comb with an engraving on it.

 A Khakass woman attaches a ribbon to a stone column at Salbyk ''The Valley of the Kings'', 380 km (236 miles) south of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, September 28, 2005 (credit: REUTERS) A Khakass woman attaches a ribbon to a stone column at Salbyk ''The Valley of the Kings'', 380 km (236 miles) south of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, September 28, 2005 (credit: REUTERS)

Additionally, they discovered a golden ornament resembling a sickle worn around the neck. Dr. Łukasz Oleszczak from the Jagiellonian University said that up until that point, the vast majority of similar items found at other burial sites in Siberia were found in men's graves.

"They were considered symbols of belonging to a social group, caste, perhaps warriors - in any case, men, he said. "Its presence it in the grave of a woman is a very interesting deviation from this custom. This certainly confirms the unique role of the deceased in the community of the 'Valley of the Kings.'"

Oleszczak added that the woman's remains were found near the grave of a nomad prince, suggesting that she was a member of the prince's entourage.

The researchers continued their work at a burial site at which they discovered the remains of a young warrior, as well as gold ornaments, a whetstone and a knife.

The burial mounds are from the 6th century BCE, during the time the Scythians lived in the region.