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2,500-Year-Old Scythian Golden Tomb Unearthed in Siberia



Friday, 27 July 2001


BERLIN, German and Russian archaeologists have unearthed a nearly 2,500-year-old, gold-encrusted tomb of a Scythian tribal prince in southern Siberia, the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) said today.


According to an AFP report, researcher Hermann Parzinger of the DAI called the discovery of the tomb containing gold, jewelry and weapons in the Russian republic of Tuva "the richest known tomb beyond the Urals". Parzinger led the team of archaeologists with Anatoli Nagler of the DAI and Konstantin Cugunov of Saint Petersburg. The excavation began last year, focused on a row of tombs near the Mongolian border.


The Scythians were of Iranian stock that settled during the first century BCE near the Black Sea, where they came in contact with Greek culture. Forced out of the region near the end of that century by enemy forces, which then that moved to area what is today known as southern Russian where they turned to agriculture and built homes.


The wealth of Scythian princes has been documented by latter-day researchers who discovered their opulent graves.


Parzinger said that while previous grave discoveries in the region bore a strong Greek influence, the current find represented an exquisite example of purely Scythian art, including the generous use of gold and elaborate animal figures.


Russian security forces have sealed the site in preparation for the shipment of artifacts from the tomb to the state hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg, where it will be restored and displayed.




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