Find In Siberia: Iron Age Grave Of Xiongnu Woman Wearing Huge Black Gemstone Belt Buckle

Find In Siberia: Iron Age Grave Of Xiongnu Woman Wearing Huge Black Gemstone Belt Buckle

An extraordinary 2,137-year-old belt buckle been dug from a grave of a young woman who lived before the birth of Christ.

AT1/29 burial with jet belt buckle

The researchers dubbed the ancient fashionista Natasha. She was discovered wearing a black rectangular belt buckle.

Her burial was uncovered as a 240 square mile man-made reservoir was being drained in the mountainous Republic of Tuva, Siberia.

The ancient necropolis is known as “The Russian Atlantis” because it is annually emptied for a few weeks after being submerged beneath 56 feet of water for the majority of the year.

Detail of jet buckle with semiprecious stone inlay
Chinese wuzhu coin that adorned the belt of the woman in AT1/29

The giant reservoir known as the Ala-Tey necropolis in the so-called Sayan Sea is upstream of the Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam, Russia’s biggest power plant. The region is also a favourite vacation spot for Vladimir Putin.

The find was made in 2016 at the Ala-Tey necropolis in the Sayan Sea

The mobile lookalike is made of black gemstone jet, a type of lignite, with inlays of semi-precious stones. It measures 7 inches by 3.5 inches and is inlaid with decorations of turquoise, carnelian and mother-of-pearl.

Burial AT1-86 with jet decorated belt
Jet buckle from AT1-86 engraved with mountain goats
Openwork bronze belt buckle horses in combat from grave AT1/42
Openwork bronze belt buckle horses in combat from grave AT1/42
The so-called ‘Sleeping beauty’ in silk clothes found at the site

Archaeologist Dr Pavel Leus said: ‘Natasha’s’ burial with a Hunnu-era (Xiongnu) iPhone remains one of the most interesting at this burial site.’

‘Hers was the only belt decorated with Chinese wuzhu coins which helped us to date it,’ said the academic.

Graves of prehistoric civilisations dating from the Bronze Age to the time of Genghis Khan are located at the reservoir.

Ala-Tay mountain in early June after the run-off
Ala-Tay mountain at the end of June after the reservoir is refilled

Previous findings include two partly-mummified prehistoric fashionistas buried with the tools of their trade.

One was called ‘Sleeping Beauty’ because she was dressed in silk for the afterlife and was at first believed to be a priestess. However the woman is now thought to have been a leather designer. The second was a weaver laid to rest with her wooden spindle packed inside a sewing bag.

A total of 110 burials appeared on an island in the reservoir at Ala-Tey site.

The Ala-Tey site has been called “a scientific sensation,” according to the expedition’s leader, Dr. Marina Kilunovskaya of the St. Petersburg Institute of Material History Culture.

“We are extraordinarily lucky to have unearthed these burials of wealthy Hun nomads that were not disturbed by [ancient] grave robbers,” Dr. Kilunovskaya continued.

Terezin, another Atlantis location, is closer to the water and features at least 32 burials.

Scientists acknowledge that they are working against the clock to inspect the locations and prevent water damage to irreplaceable artifacts.

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