5,000-Year-Old Unlooted Tomb of Thracian Warrior is Biggest Find of the Year in Turkey

5,000-Year-Old Unlooted Tomb of Thracian Warrior is Biggest Find of the Year in Turkey

The intact tomb of a Thracian warrior dating back some 5,000 years has been excavated in Turkey, the Istanbul Archaeology Museum announced. Experts are calling it the biggest archaeological find so far this year in Turkey—a country with many important archaeological sites.

The kurgan tumulus is the first intact burial chamber of its kind ever found, says an article about the news in DailySabah.com. The dig on the kurgan started in December 2015 in Silivri in the Çanta region.

Hurriyet Daily News says the tumulus was looted. However, looters had tried but failed to dig into the main burial chamber.

The tumulus was likely that of a prominent Bronze Age warrior from northern areas. Researchers assume he was a warrior because they found a spear point in his grave, according to the First Istanbul Board for the Protection of Cultural Artifacts.

Hurriyet Daily News says a kurgan is a burial mound constructed in a circle over a grave in a pit. Kurgan burials often have grave vessels, weapons and one body. “The type of tomb was originally used on the Russian steppes but later spread to eastern, central and northern Europe in the 3rd millennium B.C. The type of grave was holy in Turkic and Altay culture,” the article states.

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  • 4,000-Year-Old Chariots Discovered in Burial Chamber of Bronze Age Chief

Professor Mehmet Özdoğan of Istanbul University Department of Archeology told Daily Sabah he has studied such tumuli before, but this discovery is important because it is the oldest one found in Thrace. It’s hoped the tomb will help shed light on historical mysteries about Thrace and help with studies about ancient Istanbul.

Years ago, Özdoğan excavated another Thracian kurgan, from around 1200 BC in the village of Asılbeyli in Kırklareli in eastern Thrace, Daily Sabah says.

“Thrace received migrations from the north. This is a kurgan-style tomb and such tombs exist in my studies, too,” Özdoğan told Hurriyet Daily News. “I know that lots of kurgan tombs have been destroyed in Thrace. We have rescued one of them from the digger. But this tomb is older and is from the Bronze Age. It is a very important discovery. I believe scientific examinations will lead to interesting results.”

Sarmatian Kurgan 4th c. BC, Fillipovka, S.Urals. Source: Wikipedia

The Istanbul Archaeology Museum wants to register the grave as a historical site and place the remains of the warrior on exhibit in the museum.

Kurgans are considered sacred burials in Turkic and Altaic cultures. People were buried in kurgans widely across central Asia and Eastern Europe. The word kurgan is from an unknown Turkic language and in Turkish means “fortress,” says Daily Sabah.

Interior of the Tsarsky Kurgan, Crimean Peninsula, 4th century B.C. (Wikimedia Commons)

The practice of building kurgans for important people’s burials was done from the Copper Age, through the Bronze, Iron ages and into the Middle Ages, though it was not as popular during later times.

One of the most prominent historical figures buried in a kurgan was Philip II of Macedon—father of Alexander of Macedon. Philip was buried in Greece.

The circular tomb chamber is 6 meters (19.7 feet) across and is inlaid with stones. The actual tomb itself is rectangular. The skeleton was on a stony floor in the fetal position, and his arms were placed to embrace his legs. Researchers say this may be either so he could enter the next world like a newborn or as a way to prevent him from rising from the dead.

In addition to the spear point, which was on the body, archaeologists found two Bronze Age earthenware pots. Hurriyet called the point an arrowhead and added that it helped identify him as an important soldier or even a commander.

There is a detailed study here about the Kurgan culture, which was widespread from Europe to Kazakhstan and up into Russia. The site says the Kurgan culture differs had common elements, including the distinctive burials, that differentiate it from other Bronze Age cultures in the regions where they overlapped.


'Sensational' golden dagger reveals the secrets of life in Thrace 5,000 years ago

A well-preserved 5,000-year-old golden dagger recovered from a tomb in Bulgaria has been described as a "sensational" find that sheds light on the long-lost civilisation of Thrace and shows the Thracians to be sophisticated metal-workers rather than illiterate, bloodthirsty savages.

The artefact, which archaeologists think dates to 3,000BC, is the latest in a series of finds in central Bulgaria that have led to the region being called the "Valley of the Thracian Kings".

"It's really a sensational discovery," said Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of the Bulgarian National Museum of History. "The dagger, which we believe is made of gold and platinum, most probably belonged to a Thracian ruler or to a priest."

More than 500 pieces of delicate golden jewellery were also found in the tomb, itself discovered two years ago near the village of Dubovo, 75 miles east of the capital, Sofia. The objects, unearthed over the past few weeks, have been faultlessly preserved and will soon go on public display.

The dagger, about 16 inches (41cm) long, has kept its sharpness almost five millennia after it was first laid in the earth, Mr Dimitrov said. The engravings on the hilt suggest it was used in sacrifices. "No item of this type was found even in Troy," said Mr Dimitrov.

Little is known about the Thracians, who are believed to have lived in what is now Bulgaria, Romania, northern Greece and Turkey until the 8th century AD when they were assimilated by migrating Slavs.

But, because they are thought not to have used writing, little material has been available for academics to study. In recent decades, however, light has been shed on the culture through a series of finds from a group of mounds in central Bulgaria. Last year, archaeologists found more than 15,000 fragments of golden artefacts near Dubovo - which restorers reassembled to form several golden necklaces. Other finds include a golden mask and a magnificent crown wreath.

"The mounds seem to be part of a complex. Some of them resemble tombs, while others appear to be ritual sites where ancient people buried gifts for the gods," said Martin Hristov, the lead archaeologist at the digs in the region.

The Thracians were described by Herodotus, the Greek historian of the 5th century BC - who may have been biased, as savage and bloodthirsty warriors. This latest find suggests they were expert at more delicate industry. Archaeologists say the dagger indicates they used complex metal-working methods which, for the period, were sophisticated.

"This significant find confirmed that people in this region were familiar with what was then high technology in metal processing," Mr Dimitrov said.


The world's oldest oldest Papyrus

Another article on those incredible underground cave structures built by Neanderthals so very long ago.

The earliest dated documents from Londinium (London) have been discovered - it's so wonderful to read the thoughts of people who have been dust for almost two millennia.

King Tutankhamun's dagger was made from meteoric iron.

The ancient secrets of Sattenji's tomb.

Several recent archaeological discoveries that may be of interest.

The Thracian tomb was interesting - for some reason I thought of them as not as ancient as that. You live and learn!


They must have had lungs like leather to get a note out of a carnyx.

The Thracian tomb was interesting - for some reason I thought of them as not as ancient as that. You live and learn!

They must have had lungs like leather to get a note out of a carnyx.

The Great pyramid is being scanned, a Neolithic massacre and finally an ancient silver shekel stash has been discovered in Israel.

Some more cutting-edge research on the remarkable Antikythera Mechanism.

The world's oldest analog computer. :cool:

The fantastic late Roman era 'Gaulcross hoard' of solid silver items that has been discovered in Scotland. :cool:

The fantastic late Roman era 'Gaulcross hoard' of solid silver items that has been discovered in Scotland. :cool:

Yes - it is a really spectacular find!

Not archaeology but the recent history of forensic science

This second closely related story is really remarkable - and reminds me of the Miniature Killer from CSI (I stopped watching shortly after that storyline ended).

Yes - it is a really spectacular find!

Not archaeology but the recent history of forensic science

This second closely related story is really remarkable - and reminds me of the Miniature Killer from CSI (I stopped watching shortly after that storyline ended).

Possibly the face of Arsinoe, younger sister of Cleopatra.

Possibly the face of Arsinoe, younger sister of Cleopatra.

Interesting stuff.

The Great Pyramid is 'lopsided' - the West side is a massive 14.1 centimetres (at most) longer than the East side.

What appallingly shoddy workmanship - as each side of the massive monument was over 230 metres long and the building is only 2,583,283 cubic metres in volume.

The discovery of a gladiator school at Carnuntum and a gateway to a sanctuary of the Great God Pan.

I did, though! There's an awful lot of new and very interesting info coming out about ancient Egypt. Things weren't how we have been led to believe.

Does this ancient shrine actually contain the parietal (skull) bone of the revered Siddhartha Gautama - the Buddha?

The punishing training regime of the famous early 15th century knight 'Boucicaut' (Jean le Maingre).

Why are people such bloody Philistines?

While I suffer from insomnia a few recent archaeology stories that may be of interest.

More recent stories that may interest some.

Why are people such bloody Philistines?

I expect if is there was any historical basis to the old story that the truth was that Goliath beat the living shit out of David!

Israelites as a rather small and insignificant desert tribe surrounded by superpowers were rather good at gross exaggeration to make themselves feel better - their God Yahweh being the perfect example. -)

:D:D

loved the advert above the article on the Lycian royal tombs:

'Only the best is good enough'

:D

Interesting docu about t come on BBC4 at 9pm.

The Search For The Lost Manuscript - Julian of Norwich

The story of the fist book in English known to have been written by a woman, the suppression of the book for it's conflicting view of Christianity, how the book was preserved and eventually rediscovered

should be interesting for devotees of the vellum and papyrus.

Interesting docu about t come on BBC4 at 9pm.

The Search For The Lost Manuscript - Julian of Norwich

The story of the fist book in English known to have been written by a woman, the suppression of the book for it's conflicting view of Christianity, how the book was preserved and eventually rediscovered

should be interesting for devotees of the vellum and papyrus.

Thanks for that I did see it but will watch later on I-Player (or if it's repeated).


How was the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus destroyed?

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Bodrum, Turkey), was a massive tomb built for Mausolus, the ruler of Caria, c. 350 BCE. Following a damaging earthquake, and with many elements cannibalised for the 15th century CE Bodrum Castle, the Mausoleum no longer survives.

Similarly, how was the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus built? The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was built by Artemisia after her husband Mausolus died. Mausolus and Artemisia had ruled over Halicarnassus and the region surrounding it for 24 years. The finished tomb was 147 feet tall and sat on a hill overlooking Halicarnassus.

Besides, when was the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus destroyed?

Built: Around 350 B.C. Destroyed: Damaged by earthquakes in 13th century A.D. . Final destruction by Crusaders in 1522 A.D. Size: 140 feet (43m) high. In 377 B.C., the city of Halicarnassus was the capitol of a small kingdom along the Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor.

Does the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus still exist?

The mausoleum of Halicarnassus is in the city of Bodrum, a town on the west coast of Turkey. The ruins are still visible today, they are exactly in the city center, just north of the port, along the artery which cuts the city in two lengthways.


In an ancient burial mound in the tombs of a Nomadic king, along with a “laughing” human with an oddly deformed egg-shaped skull, a farmer dug a pit on his land uncovered 2,000-year-old treasure.

Golden and silver jewellery, weapons, valuables, and artistic household items have been discovered in a grave, in the south of Russia, near the Caspian Sea, next to the chief’s skeleton.

Local farmer Rustam Mudayev’s spade made an unusual noise and it emerged he had struck an ancient bronze pot near his village of Nikolskoye in Astrakhan region. He took it to the Astrakhan History museum for analysis and an expert’s opinion on the find.

Two well-preserved clay jars placed at the head and feet of the man. Skeleton of high-status Sarmatian warrior discovered near Krasnodar, Russia. Knife with gold and turquoise decoration

“As soon as the snow melted we organized an expedition to the village,” said museum’s scientific researcher Georgy Stukalov. “After inspecting the burial site we understood that it to be a royal mound, one of the sites where ancient nomads buried their nobility.”

The burial is believed to belong to a leader of a Sarmatian nomadic tribe that dominated this part of Russia until the 5th century AD, and other VIPs of the ancient world, including a ‘laughing’ young man with an artificially deformed egg-shaped skull and excellent teeth that have survived two millennia.

Skull with egg-shaped skull of deliberate cranial deformation

“We have been digging now for 12 days,’ said Mr. Stukalov. “We have found multiple gold jewellery decorated with turquoise and inserts of lapis lazuli and glass.”

The most ‘significant’ find is seen as a male skeleton buried inside a wooden coffin. This chieftain’s head was raised as if it rested on a pillow and he wore a cape decorated with gold plaques.

Gold plaques from pillow underneath the warrior’s head

Archaeologists found his collection of knives, items of gold, a small mirror, and different pots, evidently signalling his elite status. They collected a gold and turquoise belt buckle and the chief’s dagger along with a tiny gold horse’s head which was buried between his legs, and other intricate jewellery.

Nearby was a woman with a bronze mirror who had been buried with a sacrificial offering of a whole lamb, along with various stone items, the meaning of which is unclear.

Another grave was of an elderly man – his skeleton broke by an excavator – but buried with him was the head of his horse, its skull still dressed in an intricate harness richly decorated with silver and bronze.

Also in the burial mound was the skeleton of a young man with an artificially deformed egg-shaped skull. The shape is likely to have been ‘moulded’ either by multiple bandaging or ‘ringing’ of the head in infancy. Such bandages and or rings were worn for the first years of a child’s life to contort the skull into the desired shape.

Shaping and elongating the skull in this way was popular on various continents among ancient groupings like the Sarmatians, Alans, Huns, and others. Such deformed heads were seen as a sign of a person’s special status and noble roots, and their privileged place in their societies, it is believed.

The burials date to around 2,000 years ago, a period when the Sarmatian nomadic tribes held sway in what is now southern Russia.

“These finds will help us understand what was happening here at the dawn of civilization,” said Astrakhan region governor Sergey Morozov. Excavation is continuing at the site.


Archeologists uncovered an amazing Iron Age shield within a 2,200-year-old tomb together with a cart and two ponies hidden in a springing location, in what archeologists call one of the UK’s biggest discoveries.

The grave in the vicinity of Pocklington was found by a group of archeologists headed by Paula Ware of MAP Archaeological Practice Ltd.

Ware told Yorkshire, “The shield, which has a diameter of approximately 30 inches, but its true glory was only revealed recently once conservation was completed,” Ware told Yorkshire post.

It has similarities with the Wandsworth shield boss circa 350 BC 150 BC

The restoration revealed that the shield is decorated with a series of complex swirls and what looks like a sphere protruding from its center.

The grave also held the remains of a man who was in his 40s when he died. In addition to the chariot and two “leaping” ponies, the site was filled with several pig joints and a feasting fork attached to a pork rib, Ware said.

A chariot along with two ponies found in a leaping pose was buried near the remains of a man who was in his 40s when he died. The shield when it was first unearthed

Two small brooches — one made of bronze and the other of glass — were also found in the tomb. The elaborate nature of the burial indicates that the deceased man must have been “a significant member of his society,” Ware said.

Ware agreed with what other media outlets have suggested about the significance of the find: It is one of the most important ancient discoveries ever made in the U.K. “Yes, especially as it has been excavated under modern archaeological conditions,” she told Yorkshire post.

Ancient chariots are not altogether uncommon in burials. A 2,000-year-old Thracian chariot was discovered in 2008 alongside the bones of two horses and a dog in what is now Bulgaria, Yorkshire post previously reported.

The practice of burying noblemen near chariots in Bulgaria was especially popular during the time of the Roman Empire, which lasted from about 2,100 to 1,500 years ago.

Some 2,500 years ago, a Celtic prince in what is today France was buried in a lavish tomb complete with gorgeous pottery, a gold-tipped drinking vessel and… a chariot, Yorkshire post reported.

Archaeologists announced in 2014 that they had discovered a 4,000-year-old burial chamber holding two four-wheeled chariots and plenty of treasures in the country of Georgia, in the south Caucasus.

The newfound grave and chariot were discovered when the archaeological team was excavating an area where homes were going to be built. The researchers plan to submit a paper describing the finds to a scientific publication.


What Love Island stars look like without make-up (they’re still gorgeous)

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