Ancient Warrior Woman’s Grave Unearthed In Russia

Ancient Warrior Woman’s Grave Unearthed In Russia

During excavations in the construction zone of the Yuzhny airport in the Aksai district of the Rostov region, scientists from the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences discovered an intact Sarmatian burial of the 1st century, the website strf.ru reports citing a press release from the institute.

The Sochi expedition led by Roman Mimokhod and Pavel Uspensky has been excavating this site since the spring of 2015. In total, scientists investigated 29 barrows. Most of the excavated complexes date back to the 1st century and belong to the Sarmatians, Iranian-speaking nomadic herders who, from the early Iron Age, inhabited the steppes from the northern Black Sea region to the Sea of ​​Azov.

The female fighter was a Sarmatian, a people who worshipped fire and whose prominent role in warfare was seen as an inspiration for the Amazons of Greek mythology

“Unfortunately, most of these burials were robbed in antiquity. But we were lucky, in the mound of one Chebotarev V burial ground we found an untouched and very rich burial of the Sarmatian period. Judging by the composition of the inventory, the burial belonged to a noble woman,” says Roman Mimokhod.

The noblewoman’s grave and treasures are in a group of at least 29 burial mounds
that came to light during the construction of a new airport serving Rostov-on-Don

A lot of utensils and decorations were found in the burial: iron arrowheads, the remains of a horse harness, gold earrings with pendant chains, a bronze mirror, a gold bottle, fragments of a wooden dish and a bronze ladle, an earthenware mug and four ceramic vessels. The clothing of the buried woman is also distinguished by a particularly rich finish: the collar is decorated with stamped gold plaques made of gold leaf, the sleeves are embroidered with multi-colored beads in combination with gold plaques. On each hand is a gold bracelet. A variety of beads were cleared on the chest of the buried woman, among which a gem with a single-line Phoenician or early Aramaic inscription should be highlighted.

Gold earrings with pendant chains
Gold bracelet
Bronze ladle(?) with image of Gorgon’s head

In addition, a small cache was made in the western wall of the grave pit, in which various iron objects, a silver vessel with a zoomorphic handle, and fragments of two brooches were found.

Gold vial
Gem with a single-line Phoenician or early Aramaic inscription
Ceramic vessel [Credit: Institute of Archaeology,
Russian Academy of Sciences]

“The main surprise for us was not even that the robbers tried to rob the grave and did not reach only 7 cm to the wooden ceiling (due to which the burial remained untouched). It is surprising that in this burial there were things from the end of the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. Such a combination was encountered for the first time and is of undoubted interest in terms of dating the burial,” notes Mimokhod.

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