Siberian Mummies In Copper Mask

More than 15 years ago, during a series of excavations in a Siberian necropolis near the village of Zeleniy Yar, at the base of a peninsula local people called "the end of the Earth," a team of archaeologists discovered roughly 1,000 years old mummies. Buried with a hoard of artifacts, some of the bodies had shattered or missing skulls, and smashed skeletons.

Starting in 1997, thirty-four graves were found with seven male adults, three male infants, and one female child wearing a copper mask. Buried with a hoard of artifacts, most of the bodies had shattered or missing skulls, and smashed skeletons in the region's sandy soil, but the archaeological excavation was suspended in 2002 after the locals objected. In 2014 the work has resumed. 
A red-haired man was found, protected from chest to foot by copper plating.
Picture: Kate Baklitskaya

Five mummies were unearthed still shrouded in copper and blankets of reindeer, beaver, wolverine or bear fur, while three copper masked infant male mummies were found bound in four or five copper hoops two inches wide.

Natalia Fyodorova, of the Ural branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said: 'Nowhere in the world are there so many mummified remains found outside the permafrost or the marshes.'

The best preserved mummy was a red-haired man found in a wooden sarcophagus. He was covered chest to foot in copper plate and was laid to rest with an iron hatchet, furs and a bronze head buckle depicting a bear. The artifacts discovered near the copper clad mummies included an iron combat knife, bracelets, silver medallions and bronze figurines. The archaeologists also found bowls originating in Persia, some 3,700 miles to the southwest, dating from the 10th or 11th centuries.

The soil at the site is sandy and not permanently frozen. Scientists have determined that the mysterious people were mummified by accident due to a dip in temperatures in the 14th century. The copper may have also prevented oxidation of the remains. The feet of the deceased are all pointing towards the Gorny Poluy River, a fact which is seen as having religious significance. The burial rituals are unknown to experts.

Fyodorova suggests that the smashing of the skulls may have been done soon after death 'to render protection from mysterious spells believed to emanate from the deceased'.

Sources:

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/weird-science/mummies-copper-masks-pose-mystery-siberia-n82176

http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/siberian-mummies-in-copper-masks-post-mystery-140416.htm

http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/mummified-by-accident-in-copper-masks-almost-1000-years-ago-but-who-were-they/

Pic Source:

http://siberiantimes.com/upload/information_system_38/1/4/4/item_1443/information_items_1443.jpg



Written By Tripzibit on Jun 1, 2015 | 21:49

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