Category Archives: RUSSIA

Researchers Discover The “Decapitated” Skeleton Of An Extinct “Creature” More Than 200 Years Ago

Researchers Discover The “Decapitated” Skeleton Of An Extinct “Creature” More Than 200 Years Ago

During a routine survey of the coastline of Komandorsky Nature Reserve in Russia, researchers came across a rather bizarre discovery.

While performing excavations at the Kamchatka peninsula, Russian researchers found a headless skeleton of a 6-meter-long creature that has been extinct for more than two centuries.

Researcher Marina Shitova from the Komandorsky Nature Reserve noticed the dead creature’s ribs poking out from the sand and pebbles. However, they weren’t sure what they had come across until excavations revealed 45 vertebrae, 27 ribs, a left scapula and other bones of an ancient—now-extinct—creature referred to as the Sea Cow.

“The discovery of such a sufficiently complete skeleton of Steller’s sea cow is an extremely important event not only for the Komandorsky reserve but for science in general,” read a statement by Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources.

Despite the fact that the Sea Cow’s head is missing, the specimen is relatively well-preserved.

After excavating for four hours, the headless skeleton of the sea cow, a mammal endemic to this region that became extinct in the 18th century, was eventually revealed to the surprise of researchers.

This discovery could help researchers understand more about the extinct animal as researchers do not know how many vertebrae the Se Cow had, and what its flippers looked like, said Daryl Domning, a professor of anatomy and a Steller’s sea cow expert at Howard University in Washington, D.C in an interview with Live Science.

The sea creature was hunted in great numbers until its extinction in 1768.

“According to historical records, in the eighteenth century the species had declined to remain populations only around Bering and Medni Island, Russia,” said researchers from George Mason University years ago, in the scientific journal Biology Letters.

The species was named after the German explorer George Steller, who first documented its existence during a voyage through the North Pacific in 1741, according to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

According to statements, the skeleton will go on display at the Komandorsky Nature Reserve visitor center.

The animal was huge in terms of weight. According to experts, the specimen could grow in weight to 10 metric tons, which eventually allowed it to survive without problems in the ‘frozen’ environment.

However, its incredible weight also made it ‘easy’ prey for predators and hunters, according to experts.

The last specimen—prior to this one—was discovered more than 30 years ago on Bering Island, in Russia.

What exactly happened to the head of the recently found Sea-Cow remains a mystery.

‘Sleeping Beauty’ Mummy Discovered 2,000 Years After Death Wearing Skirt And Clutching Make-Up Box

‘Sleeping Beauty’ Mummy Discovered 2,000 Years After Death Wearing Skirt And Clutching Make-Up Box

Archeologists hail the extraordinary find of a suspected ‘Hun woman’ with a jet gemstone buckle on her beaded belt.

After a fall in the water level, the well-preserved mummy was found this week on the shore of a giant reservoir on the Yenisei River upstream of the vast Sayano-Shushenskaya dam, which powers the largest power plant in Russia and the 9th biggest hydroelectric plant in the world.

The ancient woman was buried wearing a silk skirt with a funeral meal – and she took a pouch of pine nuts with her to the afterlife.

The ancient woman was buried wearing a silk skirt with a funeral meal

In her birch bark make-up box, she had a Chinese mirror. Near her remains – accidentally mummified – was a Hun-style vase.

A team of archeologists from St Petersburg’s Institute of History of Material Culture (Russian Academy of Sciences) working on the shoreline in the Tyva Republic spotted a rectangle-shaped stone construction that looked like a burial.

‘The mummy was in quite a good condition, with soft tissues, skin, clothing and belongings intact,’ said a scientist.

Natalya Solovieva, the institute’s deputy director, said: ‘On the mummy are what we believe to be silk clothes, a beaded belt with a jet buckle, apparently with a pattern.

Archeologist Dr. Marina Kilunovskaya said: ‘During excavations, the mummy of a young woman was found on the shore of the reservoir.

‘The lower part of the body was especially well preserved …

‘This is not a classic mummy – in this case, the burial was tightly closed with a stone lid, enabling a process of natural mummification.’

She was buried around 1,900 to 2,000 years ago, scientists believe ahead of exhaustive tests.

Astonishingly, the remains were preserved even though they have been underwater for periods since the dam became operational between 1978-85.

Dr. Solovieva said: ‘Near the head was found a round wooden box covered with birch-bark in which lay a Chinese mirror in a felt case.’

Near the young woman were two vessels, one a Hun-type vase.

‘There was a funeral meal in the vessels, and on her chest a pouch with pine nuts.’

Restoration experts have started working on the mummy. Analysis of the find is expected to yield a wealth of information on her life and times.

Scientists received a grant from the Russian Geographical society to rescue the unique archeological finds in flooded areas.

50,000-Year-Old Tiara Made from Woolly Mammoth Ivory Found in Denisova Cave

50,000-Year-Old Tiara Made from Woolly Mammoth Ivory Found in Denisova Cave

Archaeologists recently discovered the remains of an ancient tiara that was worn by a man. The question now is whether the head crown was meant to mark its wearer’s royalty — or simply hold back his hair.

The largest fragment of an ivory tiara that was found in the Denisova Cave this summer is depicted from three separate angles.

The ivory tiara turned up this summer in the Denisova Cave in the Altai mountains of Siberia. The artifact, made from the tusks of the now-extinct woolly mammoth, is between 35,000 and 50,000 years old — likely the oldest one found in the North Eurasia area to date. 

The findings, first reported by The Siberian Times, haven’t yet been published in a scientific journal, but the authors plan to submit their report for publication next year.

Tiaras or headbands “made from bone, antler or mammoth tusks are one of the rarest types of personal ornaments known in the Upper Paleolithic of Northern Eurasia,” said Alexander Fedorchenko, a junior researcher at the Department of Stone Age Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The ancient tiara turned up in the Denisova Cave in the Altai mountains of Siberia. The remains of an extinct human species, the Denisovans, were first discovered in this cave.

The Upper Paleolithic, or the end years of the Stone Age, began about 40,000 years ago. In addition to mammoth ivory, the items found in the cave from this time period were made up of a variety of raw materials, like soft stones, tubular bones of animals and birds, mammal teeth and shells from freshwater clams and ostrich eggs, Fedorchenko told Live Science.

“On the one hand, we were very surprised to find this unique diadem,” Fedorchenko said. “On the other hand — when you work at Denisova Cave, you need to be ready for any, even the loudest, scientific discoveries.”

The Denisova cave is famous for first revealing the remains of an extinct human lineage called the Denisovans. The tiara turned up in the same layer of the southern chamber of the cave where those first remains, such as a 40,000-year-old adult tooth was found.

Even though no other remains from other human lineages have been excavated in that layer of the Southern Chamber, Fedorchenko said they can only guess if the head piece belonged to a Denisovan. 

Making of a tiara

The Paleolithic dwellers of the cave would have needed to take several steps to craft this diadem, Fedorchenko said. After freeing the mammoth tusks, they likely cut them into thin pieces and soaked them in water so that they could be bent into shape. They then processed them by shaping, scraping, cutting, grinding, drilling and polishing the ivory, Fedorchenko said.

If it’s anything like other tiaras from this time period found in the East European Plain and Eastern Siberia, it most likely had drilled holes at the end to attach it to the head with some sort of cord or strap, he added. Indeed, the largest fragment they found — one of three that together made up a third of the full piece — had half a hole on one side.

Though not seen on this fragment, the outsides of such tiaras are also often decorated with engravings or “complex ornaments,” Fedorchenko said.

Typically, tiara remains come in several pieces, making it difficult for scientists to know for sure if they came from an actual tiara, Fedorchenko said. However, in this case, “we can judge relatively confidently” that the new find is a tiara.

First of all, the length of the biggest fragment — 5.9 inches (15 centimeters) — is too long to be a bracelet. Second, the tiara has a bend that’s shaped to fit the temple of an adult man.

“If we assume that the part of the tiara that was not found so far continued to bend at the same angle as the preserved one, the dimensions of this product would be very suitable for a man with a relatively large head,” Fedorchenko said.

Finally, when they observed the find under a microscope, they found “use-wear traces” such as scratches, microscopic traces of damage, abrasion marks and polishing that would have happened because of contact with organic material, like skin.

They don’t know if this diadem was a mark of something “special,” like royalty, or just an everyday headband to keep the hair back. But most diadems that are found at archaeological sites in Siberia and Europe are often marked with lines, dots and zigzags, which “indicate the special role of these objects in the culture of Upper Palaeolithic people,” Fedorchenko said.

Perhaps, it could have also been a mark of a family or tribe, Fedorchenko said.

This year, the team also found other interesting artifacts in the Denisova Cave, such as an ivory ring, a bone needle and beads. “Together with the diadem, these new artifacts will allow us to more completely reconstruct the peculiarities of the life of the Upper Paleolithic inhabitants of the Denisova Cave,” he said.

A missing link from our evolution: Inside the cave that was home to several human species, including the mysterious Denisovans

A missing link from our evolution: Inside the cave that was home to several human species, including the mysterious Denisovans

After studying DNA from teeth and a pinky bone discovered in a Siberian cave, geneticists found out that they belonged to individuals living thousands of years apart. This has provided insight into the life of this mysterious human species.

Denisovans are considered to be a sister species of the Neanderthals that emerged 200 000 years ago. It is believed that they lived on the plains of Siberia and East Asia before modern humans arrived on the continent. Studying them is difficult because very fossilised remains are discovered.

Today, researchers know more about how the Denisovans lived. They constantly inhabited the same caves.

The entrance of Denisova Cave, the place where different human species remains were found

With the help of a new DNA analysis technology used on a teeth and a fragment of pinky finger bone that were found at the Denisova cave in Altai Krai, in the Altai Mountains near Barnaul, Russia, the researchers discovered that these fossils belonged to three individuals who lived thousands of years apart.

The location of Denisova cave (Altai Krai, the Altai Mountains near Barnaul, Russia)

The analysis of the pinky finger bone fragment (which belonged to a young girl), revealed they were a species closely related, but different from Neanderthals. This opened some questions for anthropologists. Was the cave a temporary shelter for the Denisovans or was it a permanent settlement for them?

The latest study presented at the annual conference for the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution, tells that the girl has lived around 50 000 years ago.

On the other hand, the DNA from teeth that belonged to two other individuals (adult male and a young female), shows that they were in the cave 65 000 earlier. but there are many different ideas about the age of the specimens.

Other tests suggested the tooth of the young female is probably 170,000 years old and the molar tooth is from an adult male that lived 7 500 before the girl (to which the bone fragment belonged).

Left upper molar tooth from a Denisovan, found in the caveDenisova 4 Left upper molar M2 or M3
The pinky finger bone from a young Denisovan girl

These findings show us that the cave probably served as a regular living space for the Denisovans. It appears that they had a real sense of “home”.

Viviane Slon, a geneticist working for paleogeneticist Professor Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Munich, Germany, said the DNA analysis showed the Denisovans had surprisingly diverse genomes.

One suggestion is that instead of living in small isolated groups they were mixing and breeding to ensure they high genetic diversity. However, the age gap can also explain the diversity. The prolonged period in which they lived in the cave may be the cause of that.

The “living room” of Denisova cave. The cave probably served as a regular home for the Denisovans, but also for Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens.
The Denisova Cave – or as locals call it Ayu-Tash, which means Bear’s Rock – is both a natural and archaeological landmark in the valley of the Anui River, 150km from Barnaul.

Another study at the Denisova cave by geologist Professor Tom Higham, an expert on radiocarbon dating, and Dr Katerina Douka, an archaeologist, both at the University of Oxford, showed that more than one human species used the cave.

They found a toe bone from a Neanderthal that is around 50 000 years old.  Remains from Homo Spaiens that occupied the cave around 45 000 years ago were also found.

Different layers of sediment inside the cave

According to Dr Douka, the remains of different human species in the cave, can lead to theories that Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern humans were interbreeding.

2,000-yr-old Item Found Buried with Woman Looks Like a Smartphone

2,000-yr-old Item Found Buried with Woman Looks Like a Smartphone

A tomb recently excavated in Siberia revealed what at first appeared to be an ancient iPhone on the 2,100-yr-old remains of a woman dubbed ‘Natasha’ by researchers. Found alongside her skeleton, to the amazement and excitement of all, was an item that looked suspiciously like an iPhone.

It’s not, of course — it’s a belt buckle — but the object bears a striking and astonishing similarity to a iPhone. It’s black, and shaped rather like a check book (remember those?) and has beautiful, precious stones laid into its surface. And it was no doubt just as important to the woman who wore it as our smartphones are to us .

It was a fashionable ancient belt buckle made of gemstone jet with inlaid decorations of turquoise, carnelian and mother-of-pearl.

The find was part of a larger excavation, dubbed the “Russian Atlantis.” Skeletons and objects like ‘Natasha’s’ belt buckle date back more than 2,000 years, archaeologists say.

The Siberian Times reported recently that the site was made accessible to archaeologists and other researchers when a massive reservoir was drained during the summer, so researchers could get a look at the relics resting there. The belt buckle is just one of many interesting — and ancient — items found at this “Russian Atlantis.”

The buckle’s precious stones include mother of pearl and turquoise, and even part of an ancient Chinese coin has been carved into it. According to Dr. Pavel Leus, one of the archaeologists on the dig, “Natasha’s burial with a Hunnu-era ‘iPhone’ remains one of the most interesting (items) at this site.”  He added, “Hers was the only belt decorated with Chinese Wizhu coins, which helped us to date it.”

Other ancient graves rest close to ‘Natasha,’ including one whom the archaeologists have dubbed ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ The items with which she was buried indicate that she was a designer who worked in leather.

A third set of remains belonged to a woman who was a weaver, researchers confirmed; she had a wooden spindle, inside a sewing kit placed with her.

It’s these kinds of objects, rather like ‘Natasha’s’ so called ‘iPhone,’ that give researchers the clues they need to date the remains accurately.

The site is usually under more than 55 feet of water, according to the Siberian Times. Scientists, historians and archaeologists know they must beat the clock because the reservoir will indeed fill with water again, sooner or later.

They are working feverishly to recover and excavate these rare and historic artifacts before that happens.Elsewhere at the ‘Atlantis’ site another excavation is taking place, called Terezin, containing 32 graves.

Dr. Marina Kilunovskaya, of the St. Petersburg Institute of Material Culture, acknowledged how rich the site is in an interview with the Siberian Times.

“We are incredibly lucky to have found these burials of rich Hun nomads that were not disturbed by (ancient) grave robbers.” The burial sites date as far back as the Bronze Age, during the reign of Genghis Khan.

Ancient Warrior unearthed marching to the Afterlife with dagger drawn

Ancient Warrior unearthed marching to the Afterlife with dagger drawn

Fighter from almost 3,000 year ago was ready to impale his enemies, expecting battles after death, with a ‘mirror’ on his eye.

Not all the treasures in his grave appeared ready for battle – the warrior also had some fetching white metal spiral earrings, made possibly from tin or silver.

The extraordinary find of this Bronze Age warrior – ready for combat on his journey to the next life between 2,700 and 2,900 years ago – is intriguing archeologists in Omsk city.

Unusual features are the dagger ready for use in one hand, a knife in the other, and a metallic eye patch, or badge, seen as either a mirror illuminating his route to another world, or those who gave him evil glances. 

Nearby he had an axe and also some arrow heads.

Not all the treasures in his grave appeared ready for battle – the warrior also had some fetching white metal spiral earrings, made possibly from tin or silver.

The remains were found during the restoration of an historical building under Muzeinaya Street in Omsk.

The well-preserved skeleton with his arms crossed lay in the trench of a heating pipe made in the Soviet era, according to the regional government’s website.

Albert Polovodov, a specialist from the regional culture ministry, said: ‘In the right hand he held a dagger, the blade pointing forwards or upwards, as if he was going to use it as a stabbing weapon.

‘In other hand was a knife, blade down, as he was going to cut, dissect, cut ligaments and so on. Clearly, it is imitation of combat use of these weapon.’

It was as if he ‘was very carefully prepared for the road to another world, assuming that obstacles may exist in his way’,

It indicated that perhaps during his life ‘he had to fight – perhaps in battles for territories’.

Maxim Grachev, director of Omsk Museum of Archeology and Ethnography, said five burials had been found, but the four others were destroyed. 

‘The ideal state of the grave was a pleasant surprise for us,’ he said. 

‘We found a large number of well-preserved items: weapons, jewellery, and other items made of bronze.’

The warrior hailed from the transition period from the Bronze to the Iron age.  

Other burial remains are likely to lie under the buildings on this site, but are not accessible, he said. 

Ancient Siberian grave holds ‘warrior woman’ and huge weapons stash

Ancient Siberian grave holds ‘warrior woman’ and huge weapons stash

Archaeologists in Siberia have unearthed a 2,500-year-old grave holding the remains of four people from the ancient Tagar culture — including two warriors, a male and female — and a stash of their metal weaponry. 

The experts from the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have yet to determine a clear cause of death. They’re currently theorizing that illness may have sealed the fate of these Scythian warriors, while the uncovered artifacts are just as intriguing.

From bronze daggers, knives, and several axes to bronze mirrors and a comb made from an animal horn — the excavation has proven invaluable.

As is often the case with discoveries such as this, the dig site in southern Khakassia, Siberia was found out of sheer luck. Preparatory construction work on a new railroad exposed the grave which now promises to shed new light on a civilization long gone.

The older woman was buried at the couple’s feet, with chunks of the infant’s skull scattered across the grave.

The Tagar culture is very much historical, and not to be confused with the Targaryens from Game of Thrones. Part of the Scythian civilization — which was comprised of nomadic warriors inhabiting the southern region of modern-day Siberia — the Tagars often buried their dead with personal items.

However, burials were typically done using miniature versions of real-life objects. The Tagar culture was confident things could be taken to the afterlife, and thus commonly buried its dead with smaller versions of real possessions they thought they would need. The items found in this grave set it apart.

The Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography team found that both the weapons and personal items were full-sized. For Yuri Vitalievich Teterin who spearheaded the excavation, the fact that they found anything at all has been the most shocking.

Though weapons within a Tagarian woman’s grave are common, they’re typically long-range weapons — unlike the daggers and axes found here.

It’s generally believed by experts like Teterin that grave robbers have looted most known Tagarian graves.

The Tagar culture lasted from around 800 B.C. to 300 B.C., with populations spread across the Minusinsk Basin — a landscape combining steppe, forest-steppe, and foothills.

Analysis of the remains of the male and female warrior couple showed that they likely died in their 30s or 40s. Placed on their backs, each person had large ceramic vessels next to them.

While the man had two bronze daggers and two axes by his side, the woman had one of each.

Last year’s survey work showed that nine out of 10 newfound archaeological sites are directly in the railroad’s development zones.

Once again, a slight variation on typical Tagar burials met the experts. Tagarian women being buried with weapons has been a common encounter, but not of this sort.

In the past, they were typically long-range weapons like arrowheads — whereas these are meant for combat in close quarters.

“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,” said Olga Batanina, an anthropologist at the Paleodata laboratory of natural scientific methods in archaeology.

As for the older woman, she was buried on her right side with knees bent by the couple’s feet. While forthcoming DNA analysis should confirm whether or not these people were related, researchers estimate that the elder individual was around 60 years old.

The site was found in southern Khakassia, Siberia, at the foot of Mount Aar-tag.

The fortuitous discovery is certainly cause for celebration at the Russian Academy of Sciences, though it isn’t the only one.

Survey work in preparation of the railroad project last year revealed that there are at least 10 archaeological sites nearby, with nine directly in the way of development zones.

2,500-Year-Old Scythian Warrior Grave Found In Siberian ‘Valley Of The Kings’

2,500-Year-Old Scythian Warrior Grave Found In Siberian ‘Valley Of The Kings’

The 2,500-year-old tomb of a Scythian warrior has been found in the ‘Siberian Valley of the Kings’ in Russia.

The skeletal remains of the 2,500-year-old Scythian warrior was found buried with a bronze battle axe, arrows,
an iron knife and fragments of a bow .

Buried with his weapon and golden ornaments, the warrior discovered by archaeologists from Jagiellonian University in Krakow was found in an untouched grave in an area known for both its rich burial sites and notorious grave-robbing.

The so-called ‘Siberian Valley of the Kings’, named after its Egyptian counterpart, is located in the Asian part of the Russian Federation.

It earned its name due to the numerous giant kurgan tombs, often full of treasures of thought to belong to royalty.

The warrior discovered by archaeologists from Jagiellonian University in Kraków was found in an untouched grave
in an area known for both its rich burial sites and notorious grave-robbing.

The archaeological site of Chinge-Tey where Poles uncovered the new treasures is operated together with the State Hermitage Museum in Sankt Petersburg and Korean Seoul University, reports the Science in Poland website (Nauka w Polsce).

Dr. Lukasz Oleszczak, the Polish expedition’s head, told PAP: “For our research we chose an inconspicuous, almost invisible kurgan with a diameter of about 25 m.

“We hoped that it remained unnoticed by the robbers.”

The so-called ‘Siberian Valley of the Kings’, named after its Egyptian counterpart, is located
in the Asian part of the Russian Federation

Of the two tombs they found only one was robbed, while the other was untouched.

He added: “Inside was a young warrior’s skeleton with full equipment. There area around his head was decorated with a pectoral made of gold sheet, a glass bead, a gold spiral for adorning the braid.”

Archaeologists also found the Scythian buried with a sharpening stone and his weapon – a bronze battle-axe with a stylized eagle’s head, arrows, an iron knife, fragments of an bow – presenting an array of items a warrior roaming the Siberian wilderness would need.

Of the two tombs they found only one was robbed, while the other was untouchedOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dr. Oleszczak said: “Other well-preserved items were made of organic materials. Among them there is a leather quiver, arrow spars, the axe’s shaft and a belt.”

The findings date back to the 7th or 6th century BC. Scythians were nomad people from Central Asia, who expanded into Eastern Europe through their love of combat and war.

Their achievements were described by the Greek historian Herodotus.

The new treasures were discovered at the archaeological site of Chinge-Tey

The Scythians buried their dead in kurgans, some resembling hills visible from afar.

The grave found this year was surrounded by a shallow trench. Inside archaeologists uncovered several dozen fragments of ceramic vessels and animal bones, mainly of cows, horses, goats or sheep.

Most probably they are traces of religious ceremonies and rituals, such as funeral wakes.

The Polish archaeologists will continue their work in Chinge-Tey, as there is still one grave they found, but were unable to fully examine.

Archaeologists Just Discovered the Bones, Weapons, and Headdresses of Four Real-Life Amazon Warriors in Russia

Archaeologists Just Discovered the Bones, Weapons, and Headdresses of Four Real-Life Amazon Warriors in Russia

The burial site of the “Amazon” women in Voronezh.

An archaeological dig in the Eastern region of Voronezh, Russia, has unearthed an incredible discovery: a group of ancient burial pits with four women entombed with spears, headdresses, and other objects pointing to the existence of real-life Amazon warriors.

The women were likely nomadic Scythian warriors who populated the steppes of southern Russia and formed a matriarchal society that has inspired everything from from Xena: Warrior Princess to Gal Godot’s Wonder Woman.

Valerii Guliaev, who led the expedition, shared the group’s findings in December at the Institute of Archaeology at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

A rendering of the headdress discovered in the Amazon tomb.

Although fragments of similar ceremonial headdresses have been found before, the one found in Voronezh is in superb condition and is the first to be located in this precise location near the Don River. It was discovered on the head of one of the women.

The bodies were found in a group of burial mounds that scientists noted had been, at some point, ravaged by robbers.

In the first mound, the skeletal remains of two women—one was aged between 20 and 25, while the other was between 12 and 13—were surrounded by more than 30 iron arrowheads, pieces of a horse harness, iron hooks, knives, and animal bones likely belonging to a horse.

In addition, molded clay vessels and an incense burner dating to the second half of the 4th century BC were found scattered around various levels of the pit.

In another plot, two untouched skeletons were discovered inside wooden graves cushioned by grass, where scientists found a roughly 50-year-old woman wearing a heavily engraved gold-stamped headpiece (known as a kalaf) adorned with floral ornaments and pendants.

A figure buried in the “pose of a rider

A final woman, aged between 30 and 35, was found in “the pose of a rider,” as if she were mounted on a horse, according to the archaeologists.

The woman also had a large bronze mirror, two spears, and wore a glass bead bracelet—one perhaps not dissimilar from the indestructible “Bracelets of Submission” worn by Wonder Woman as cautionary reminders that women should never submit to the charms of men.

Top, a detail of the headdress; below, other objects found in the tomb
The burial site of the Amazon women in Voronezh.
The burial site of the Amazon women in Voronezh


Magical New 4,500 Year Old Finds Add To ‘Oldest Toy Collection In The WORLD’

An ancient doll and a mythical animal were buried with a child from the Okunev culture in the Bronze Age.

The toy animal head is made from antler or horn.

The rare discoveries of the pre-historic toys were made at the Itkol II burial ground in the Republic of Khakassia, southern Siberia. 

The doll had ‘carefully worked out facial features’ and was made of soapstone – a soft rock made mostly of talc, said archeologist Dr Andrey Polyakov, from the Institute of History of Material Culture in St Petersburg. 

The head of the doll is around 5 centimetres tall.

The doll had ‘carefully worked out facial features’ and was made of soapstone.

The toy animal head is made from antler or horn. 

Experts are as yet unsure what animal it depicts but it is perhaps mythical. 

In both cases the bodies of the toys were made from organic material and did not preserve. 

The finds were made in the grave of a ‘common child’ – not an elite burial, said Dr Polyakov.

image description
A figurine of a pagan god pulled out of a Siberian river by an angler was likely a child’s toy or rattle to ward off evil spirits.

The Okunev culture is seen as having links to Native Americans – and this is not the first time their toys have been found. 

Indeed, the latest finds add to an intriguing collection. 

A figurine of a pagan god pulled out of a Siberian river by an angler was likely a child’s toy or rattle to ward off evil spirits. 

It has almond-shaped eyes, a large mouth with full lips,  and a ferocious facial expression. 

On the back is ‘plaited hair with wave like lines. Below the plait there are lines looking like fish scales.’ 

Fisherman Nikolay Tarasov made ‘the catch of a lifetime’, said museum staff.

Eight intricately carved figurines with the faces of humans, birds, elk and a boar lay on the chest of the ancient infant.

Meanwhile a collection of ghoulish figurines discovered with a baby’s remains in a birch-bark cradle two years ago have been hailed as the oldest rattles ever found. 

Eight intricately carved figurines with the faces of humans, birds, elk and a boar lay on the chest of the ancient infant.

Each was up eight centimetres long.

This discovery was made on the northwest short of Lake Itkul.