Date:

Kurgan tomb from lost culture discovered

Archaeologists from the Siberian Federal University have uncovered a kurgan tomb from a previously unknown culture.

The discovery was first made when workers were clearing land in preparation for a new cemetery near the city of Krasnoyarsk, located in Siberia, Russia.

- Advertisement -

The clearing works bulldozed a 30m diameter mound which they thought at the time was a natural hill, however, much of the inner tomb has survived, which researchers from the Siberian Federal University, led by Dr Dimitry Vinogradov, have been excavating since 2021.

The team found that the tomb contains the remains of 50 bodies, buried alongside numerous grave goods, which were placed in a large rectangular pit, lined with timber and carpeted in birch bark. It likely that the tomb had a wooden roof, but this was destroyed during the land clearance.

The site dates from around 2,000-years-ago and belongs to a previously unknown Scythian-type culture. The Scythians were an ancient Eastern Iranian equestrian nomadic people who had migrated from Central Asia to the Pontic Steppe in modern-day Ukraine and Southern Russia from approximately the 7th century BC until the 3rd century BC.

Buried with the deceased are beads, bronze plaques, miniature symbolic bronze daggers and battle axes, as well as knives, mirrors, needles and ceramic vessels. Most notably is the discovery of a plaque depicting a stag, a popular motif in Siberian Scythian animal art.

- Advertisement -

The researchers believe that the site served as a family tomb for generations, after which, was sealed off and set on fire. This is supported by the discoloration found in the soil, which suggests that it was subject to intense heat. The tomb would then have been covered in soil to create what the people of the steppe call a kurgan (burial mound).

Based on the findings, Dr Vinogradov and his team believes that the tomb belongs to a transitional culture they now call “Tesinian” (first suggested by the late archaeologist and historian Mikhail Gryaznov, based on an archaeological site on the banks of the River Tes in the Minusinsk Basin), which likely emerged on the outskirts of the known territories of the Tagar culture during the 2nd or 1st century BC.

Header Image Credit : Dimitry Vinogradov


Part of our mission statement at HeritageDaily is to provide independent, impartial and honest journalism. With respect of this, and the monetary gain from promoting state funded projects by the Russian Academy of Sciences, we support the Ukrainian people in their struggle and have donated to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to help the DEC charities provide for the displaced and refugees caused by the conflict.

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Archaeologists search crash site of WWII B-17 for lost pilot

Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology are excavating the crash site of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress in an English woodland.

Roman Era tomb found guarded by carved bull heads

Archaeologists excavating at the ancient Tharsa necropolis have uncovered a Roman Era tomb guarded by two carved bull heads.

Revolutionary war barracks discovered at Colonial Williamsburg

Archaeologists excavating at Colonial Williamsburg have discovered a barracks for soldiers of the Continental Army during the American War of Independence.

Pleistocene hunter-gatherers settled in Cyprus thousands of years earlier than previously thought

Archaeologists have found that Pleistocene hunter-gatherers settled in Cyprus thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

Groundbreaking study reveals new insights into chosen locations of pyramids’ sites

A groundbreaking study, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, has revealed why the largest concentration of pyramids in Egypt were built along a narrow desert strip.

Soldiers’ graffiti depicting hangings found on door at Dover Castle

Conservation of a Georgian door at Dover Castle has revealed etchings depicting hangings and graffiti from time of French Revolution.

Archaeologists find Roman villa with ornate indoor plunge pool

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Cultural Heritage have uncovered a Roman villa with an indoor plunge pool during excavations at the port city of Durrës, Albania.

Archaeologists excavate medieval timber hall

Archaeologists from the University of York have returned to Skipsea in East Yorkshire, England, to excavate the remains of a medieval timber hall.