Russian archaeologists have resumed excavations in a remote site near the Arctic Circle in the attempt to solve the mystery of mysterious medieval mummies clad in copper masks.
Overall, the archaeologists found 34 shallow graves with seven male adults, three male infants, and one female child, roughly 1,000 years old. Buried with a hoard of artifacts, some of the bodies had shattered or missing skulls, and smashed skeletons.
This is one of the three copper masked infant male mummies found at the site. Each mummy was bound in four or five copper hoops two inches wide.
Five mummies were unearthed still shrouded in copper and blankets of reindeer, beaver, wolverine or bear fur.
This is a mummified hand of a child. Among the graves, the archaeologists found only one female child wearing a copper mask.
The artifacts discovered near the copper clad mummies included an iron combat knife, bracelets, silver medallions and bronze figurines. The archaeologists also found bowls originating in Persia, some 3,700 miles to the southwest, dating from the 10th or 11th centuries.
The finding suggests that around one millennium ago Siberia was not a remote and inhospitable site but an important trading crossroad.
The archaeologists admitted the graves feature burial rites they had never seen before. They hope to solve the riddle on the mysterious people by carrying further excavations and genetic tests.
Get the full article here.