Kevin7
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Kevin7 asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 10 years ago

What is the history of Scythian burial mounds in Russia and the Ukraine?

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  • 10 years ago
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    The mummy of a Scythian warrior, which is believed to be about 2,500 years old, was a 30-to-40 year-old man with blond hair, and was found in the Altai, Mongolia.

    In 2000, the touring exhibition 'Scythian Gold' introduced the North American public to the objects made for Scythian nomads by Greek craftsmen north of the Black Sea, and buried with their Scythian owners under burial mounds on the flat plains of present-day Ukraine, most of them unearthed after 1980.

    In 2001, the discovery of an undisturbed royal Scythian burial-barrow illustrated for the first time Scythian animal-style gold that lacks the direct influence of Greek styles. Forty-four pounds of gold weighed down the royal couple in this burial, discovered near Kyzyl, capital of the Siberian republic of Tuva.

    Russian and German archaeologists excavated a Scythian burial mound on a grassy plain that locals have long called the Valley of the Kings because of the large number of burial mounds of Scythian and other ancient nomadic royalty.

    The fierce nomadic Scythian tribes roamed the Eurasian steppe, from the northern borders of China to the Black Sea region, in the seventh to third centuries B.C. In the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. they interacted with the ancient Greeks who had colonized the Black Sea region, which is now in Ukraine and southern Russia. Not surprisingly ancient Greek influence was evident in Scythian gold previously discovered, but the recent find dates from before contact with the Greeks and from the heart of Siberia where, scholars say, contact with outsiders can almost be excluded.

    Research on the Tuva burial mound, known as Arzhan 2, began in 1998, and to the amazement of scholars the grave was discovered to be untouched, though failed attempts by grave robbers to locate the burial chamber were evident on the sprawling, 185-foot-long, 5-foot-high mound.

    This was the first such discovery since the early 1700's, when Russian explorers brought Scythian treasures to Czar Peter the Great, a find that became the State Hermitage Museum's collection of Scythian gold. All burial mounds explored since then had been robbed.

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