Skip to comments.Siberian Graveyard's Secret (More Redheads)
Posted on 01/08/2004 9:41:32 AM PST by blam
Siberian Graveyard's Secrets
YEKATERINBURG, Russia In a medieval Siberian graveyard a few miles south of the Arctic Circle, Russian scientists have unearthed mummies roughly 1,000 years old, clad in copper masks, hoops and plates - burial rites that archaeologists say they have never seen before. .
Among 34 shallow graves were five mummies shrouded in copper and blankets of reindeer, beaver, wolverine or bear fur. Unlike the remains of Egyptian pharaohs, the scientists say, the Siberian bodies were mummified by accident. The cold, dry permafrost preserved the remains, and the copper may have helped prevent oxidation. .
The discovery adds to the evidence that Siberia was not an isolated wasteland but a crossroads of international trade and cultural diversity, Natalia Fedorova of the Ural branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences said in an interview in her office in this central Russian city. Among the artifacts discovered at the site were bronze bowls from Persia, dated by style from the 10th or 11th century. .
William Fitzhugh, chairman of the department of anthropology and director of the Arctic Studies Center at the Smithsonian, who in 1997 took part in the first expedition to the site, said the findings filled "a gap we really need to know a lot about." .
The medieval cemetery, named Zeleniy Yar after a nearby village, is at the base of a peninsula called "the end of the earth" by the native Nenets people.
Archaeological surveys in 1976 uncovered ceramic remains suggesting an ancient settlement. On the 1997
expedition, Fedorova, Fitzhugh and their colleagues dug up a male in a wooden coffin with an iron combat knife, a silver medallion and a bronze bird figurine, from the seventh to ninth century. .
Later digs turned up still more graves. Eleven of the 34 remains had shattered or missing skulls and chopped skeletons. This may have been done right after death, "to render protection from mysterious spells believed to emanate from the deceased," Fedorova said in a report, or it may have been a result of ancient grave robbing. .
Another researcher, Dmitri Razhev, said that added evidence of what contemporary societies of the area consider "protective magic" include leather straps wrapped tightly around the bodies, as well as beads or chains and humanoid or birdlike bronze figures broken into pieces at the time of burial. .
The legs of the dead all point toward the nearby Gorny Poluy River, a position that Fedorova said might have had religious significance. Nearly all the graves have traces of coffins made of logs or boat parts. Several were apparently warriors buried with iron knives; others apparently died in battle, as suggested by arrowheads lodged in eye sockets and stab wounds in their backs. .
In 2000, the archaeologists found their first copper-shrouded mummy, a child with a face masked by copper plates. Three more copper-masked infant mummies were found in 2001, each bound with four or five copper hoops two inches wide. In the remains of a metalworking shop, the researchers excavated a wooden sarcophagus with the best-preserved mummy of all, a red-haired man covered chest to foot in copper plate and laid out with an iron hatchet, well-preserved furs and a bronze bear's head buckle. .
The researchers are continuing digs on another Siberian settlement south and west of Zeleniy Yar. .
Niels Lynnerup, director of the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, who is not connected with the research, said in a telephone interview that the findings were remarkable.
"Archaeology is most important in those places where you don't have good written records," Lynnerup said. "So here, archaeology is terribly important." .
He added: "Often we find skeletons and nothing else. Here we have not only very detailed human remains, but excellent preservation of all their materials." .
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Also, I read recently that the incident of red-headedness in Libya is the same as it is in Ireland. (strange)
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.
Apparently they've been there for a while.
Early Hominids In Siberia?(300,00 years)
"Diring Yuriakh was discovered in 1982 by Russian archaeologist Yuri Mochanov, who has argued that it is 1.8 to 3.2 million years old.--ANDREW L. SLAYMAN "
I've read here on FR from FReepers that Phoencian is a Greek word that means 'red-headed.'
I rememeber sending Mrs. CD the link to that very thread just before I signed up here at FR.
I think the native (pre-Arabic) language of North Africa is related to Gaelic and Breton.
Some proto-Celts probably wound up in N. Africa.
2,000 year old Bog People
I've read that at one time all of North Africa and the Middle-East was dominated by blonde and red-headed people. I don't know.
They may have been related to the Gaunches on the Canary Islands too.
I'm the only one allowed to make wild unfounded speculations on this thread, lol. Could be?
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