A 2,500-year-old grave jam-packed with daggers, knives, axes and four skeletons, including a “warrior woman,” has been found in Siberia, surprising experts.
Archaeologists found the Iron Age remains and have concluded they belong to the ancient Tagar culture, a nomadic group of warriors that lived in modern-day Siberia. Two warriors, a male and female, as well as an infant, were part of the four skeletons discovered in the burial ground.
“The man and woman lying next to them were about 35 and 45 years old, and the woman at their feet was about 60 or older,” said anthropologist Olga Batanina in a translated statement from the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “The remains of a newborn baby, no more than a month old, were also found in the burial, but fragments of its skeleton were scattered throughout the grave, possibly as a result of the activity of rodents.”
Group burial. (Credit: INSTITUTE OF ARCHEOLOGY AND ETHNOGRAPHY SIBERIAN BRANCH OF THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES)
It’s unclear what the relationship between the people was, but researchers hope to use DNA analysis to show if there were any familial ties. The archaeologists are not yet sure how they died, but they speculated perhaps an illness resulted in their deaths.
The grave was found in the southern part of Khakassia, in Siberia. Perhaps even more remarkable than the find itself was that the grave was not looted, which so many Tagarain graves are, Yuri Vitalievich Teterin, head of the excavation, added in the statement.
The researchers also unearthed bronze mirrors and a miniature comb made of an animal horn, the statement added. The weapons were full-size, which went against later Tagar burials that saw miniature versions buried alongside members of the community.
Group of artifacts found. (Credit: INSTITUTE OF ARCHEOLOGY AND ETHNOGRAPHY SIBERIAN BRANCH OF THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES)
The Tagar culture lasted for approximately 500 years, from the 8th century B.C. to the 3rd century B.C., LiveScience reported.
A number of Iron Age finds have been discovered in recent memory. In February 2019, researchers found more than 100 fragmented human skulls buried in an open area of Le Cailar, France — a 2,500-year-old town on the Rhone River.
Researchers gathered evidence in May 2019 that Iron Age Celts drank Mediterranean wine as far back as 2,700 years ago. Separately in May 2019, an Iron Age shield made from bark, the first of its kind found in Europe, was analyzed by researchers.
In July 2019, researchers unearthed the grave of a Celtic female who was buried in approximately 200 B.C. in a tree coffin and adorned with precious jewelry.
In February, 70,000 coins from the Iron Age that were discovered in 2012, set a Guinness World Record for being the largest trove of its kind discovered in the British Isles.
In July, archaeologists uncovered a skeleton in the U.K. that may have been an Iron Age “murder victim.”
The Iron Age was preceded by the Stone Age and the Bronze Age and lasted between 1200 B.C. and the 1st century A.D., depending upon the region of the world.