2000-year-old mummy found near Russian reservoir

June 29, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org report
2000-year-old mummy found near Russian reservoir
Credit: Marina Kilunovskaya

A team of researchers from St Petersburg's Institute of History of Material Culture has found the naturalized remains of a mummy in an ancient gravesite near the Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam in Russia. In speaking with the press, the researchers reported that the remains were those of a mummified young girl lying in a stone gravesite and that they believe she lived almost 2000 years ago.

The archaeologists reported that along with the , there was a belt with beads and a buckle made of jet, a vase resembling those used by Huns of the period, and a box made of birch wood that held a small mirror. Other assorted ceramic utensils were also found. Initial examination of the mummified remains revealed patches of skin, soft tissue and cloth remnants that appeared to be made of silk.

The researchers noted that the area where the grave was found is normally underwater, but this year, the reservoir created by the dam was abnormally low, exposing ground that had been submerged since the 1980s. As the researchers were exploring the exposed land last month, they came upon the tomb.

The researchers suggest the clothing and materials in the grave indicate the girl was likely a nomadic Hun—likely one of high regard. She could have been part of the nobility. They also note that the vase contained what appeared to be a funeral meal and that a sack of pine nuts had been placed on her chest. The Huns, the researchers note, lived in parts of what is now modern China and Siberia almost 2000 years ago. They were migratory, and prior studies have shown they tended to mix with local people.

The remains and other artifacts have been removed from the gravesite and have been transported to a location suitable for studying them. The researchers report that a lot of work is required to learn more about the girl's origins and how she came to be mummified. They will also be working to understand how her remains and other artifacts were able to withstand being submerged under the reservoir for over 30 years.

Explore further: Museum says mummy was Peruvian girl who lived centuries ago

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Meteorite source in asteroid belt not a single debris field

February 17, 2019

A new study published online in Meteoritics and Planetary Science finds that our most common meteorites, those known as L chondrites, come from at least two different debris fields in the asteroid belt. The belt contains ...

Diagnosing 'art acne' in Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings

February 17, 2019

Even Georgia O'Keeffe noticed the pin-sized blisters bubbling on the surface of her paintings. For decades, conservationists and scholars assumed these tiny protrusions were grains of sand, kicked up from the New Mexico desert ...

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.