Pazyryk, Siberia, Russia

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An extensive site in the high Altai mountain region of central Asia used as a burial ground in the later 1st millennium bc by nomadic communities related to the Scythians. Excavations by Russian archaeologists have revealed burials dating from the 5th to the 3rd centuries bc, many of them in large pits covered in low cairns (kurgans). Some are well preserved because they have remained frozen since deposition. Four‐wheeled wagons were included in some cases, as were horses with bridles, saddles, and saddlecloths. The men had been tattooed and all the bodies had been embalmed. It is thought that these burials belong to the leaders of mobile groups.


S. I. Ruelenko, 1970, Frozen tombs of Siberia: the Pazyryk burials of Iron Age horsemen. London: Dent

Subjects: Archaeology.

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