Age of Saka Princess discovered in 2013 determined
Thanks to a new methodology, the restorers found that Urdzhar princess lived in IV-III centuries BC. Her approximate age at the time of death was 40-45 years. The woman’s headdress was made of red silk and her clothes of wool.
The archaeologists believe that the woman used to live in Laibulak area because of its proximity to the burial site and because it had a pure mountain stream, a source of good water crucial for a settlement in those days.
"We asked the Hermitage to make the analyses, they returned good results. There was an interesting image of a mythical bird on her headdress. We understood that it was the mythical bird of Samruk (a well-known figure in the Kazakh mythology). It is the first time that we find these images," said a leading Kazakh restorer Krym Altynbekov.
As the restorers note, field work does not always provide as much detail as laboratory studies. This is why a spacial technique was developed by Kazakh scientists to ensure preservation of discovered artifacts. It is called Kum Dorba. Its key principle is that the sarcophagus in placed in one block, and all the artifacts and objects together with the soil around them is placed into another block.
"When we use the block technique we can preserve both the remnants and the objects surrounding them.We have taken only the part that we need, now archaeologists and historians can proceed with their analyses," Krym Altynbekov said.
Conservation work at the site has been finished and restoration has begun. The scientists have sent soil, bones and textiles from the site to a lab in the United States for tests and expect the results shortly. The American lab will determine the exact time when the Saka princess lived.
After all the research and restoration works are completed, the exhibit will be sent to the National Museum of Kazakhstan in Astana.
Kazakhstan archaeologists found the tomb of the Saka Princess in Urdzhar region of East Kazakhstan Oblast back in summer of 2013. The artifacts found in the burial suggested the woman was from a distinguished tribe. One of these was a long golden headdress with zoomorchic ornaments and decorated with jewels. The tomb also contained ceramic and wooden vessels and bones of sacrificial sheep.
“Similar headwear used to be part of the official costume of the Saka tribe chieftains. It is quite possible that the woman was a daughter of a king of a Saka Tigrakhauda tribe,” expedition leader Timur Smagulov said after the discovery was made.
The golden headdress also gave the find its name - the Saka Princes. The item closely resembles the headwear of the Golden Man discovered in Kazakhstan in a burial mound near Issyk town in 1969.
By Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina
- Saka princess
- East Kazakhstan oblast
- Central Asia