Archaeologists working in a desolate and remote area of the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan have made a remarkable discovery. They found the remains of an adolescent couple from 4000 years ago in a grave that had a treasure trove of gold and bronze burial goods.
The couple was found in a graveyard that is providing insights into a rich and sophisticated culture that thrived in the region during the Bronze Age.
The astonishing burial was made in the remote and inhospitable Karaganda region in Kazakhstan. This was once popularly known as the ““middle of nowhere” and was a destination for political exiles from many parts of the former USSR,’’ reports The World News . The grave was unearthed by archaeologists from the Saryarkinsky Archaeology Institute in Karaganda, led by Dr. Igor Kukushkin.
The Lovers’ Grave
The Kazakh archaeologists were working in the ‘’ancient burial complex called Kyzyltau cemetery, which is made up of five hills,’’ according to the Daily Mail . This is an extensive and elite burial ground from the Bronze Age . The excavators unearthed a grave covered with stones; inside they found the skeletons of two teenagers, one male and one female.
The dead were lying side by side, looking directly into each other’s eyes. Laying the bodies of the deceased in a burial in this position is most unusual in any culture. It is estimated that the male and the female were 16 or 17 years old when they died some 4,000 years ago.
The position of the skeletons has led some to speculate that they were lovers who had been buried side by side. It is possible that they may also have been brother and sister. All that can be said for certain is that the pair were deliberately positioned so that they could look into each other’s eyes for all eternity.
Is the Double Burial a Royal Grave?
Kukushkin told The World News that ‘The grave is rich’’. Gold and bronze items were found with the couple. The young female was buried wearing two arm bracelets and pendants in the shape of the sun. The Daily Mail reports that the dead girl ‘’wore precious gold temple rings shaped like earrings’’.
It seems highly likely, based on the grave goods, that the pair were nobles or possibly even royalty. The 4000-year-old skeletons are potentially the remains of a prince and princess.
The couple was found near the ‘’ grave of a suspected priestess from the ancient Alakul culture,’’ according to The World News . This grave was most unusual as there are seven pots, ashes, and a human skull interred with the woman. The number seven has mystical and magical connotations in many cultures.
The theory that a priestess was buried in the grave may explain why it was not robbed, unlike neighboring burials.
The Rich Archaeology of Karaganda
This is not the first time that an elite couple has been found buried together in the region, which has been speculated to hold remains from up to 5000 years ago.
One spectacular grave was a chariot-burial which held a warrior with a dagger and arrows and a woman who was wearing magnificent jewelry.
A step-pyramid similar to those constructed by the early Pharaohs has been discovered in Karaganda too. Today, the area may be desolate, but in the distant past it was clearly once home to a highly sophisticated culture.
The study of the remains of the couple, who were possibly royalty, and their luxurious grave goods is at an early stage. The cause of their deaths has not been determined.
It is hoped that researchers can establish some facts about the dead couple which could, in turn, provide insights into the mysterious but advanced culture that once flourished on the Kazakhstan Steppe.