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Elite Turkic warrior burial discovered in Kazakhstan

Horse remains. Photo courtesy of "Akmola Media Ortalygy". Horse remains. Photo courtesy of "Akmola Media Ortalygy".

An archeological expedition in Zhaksy District of Akmola Oblast has discovered a burial of a warrior of the Turkic period belonging to 6-7 centuries AD.

The international expedition worked on the site on the territory of Zaporizhzhya rural district, near the village of Novochudnoye from 7 to 20 July, Tengrinews reports citing Akmola Media Ortalygy.


There were two mounds and the archeologists fully excavated both of them on July 18. One of them, in the north-western part of the burial, contained the remains of a warrior, who was enveloped in birch bark. During the examination of the burial, remains of arrowheads made of iron, weapons and a bronze earring were discovered. 

The other mound, located in the eastern sector, was a ritual burial, where fragments of a pitcher and bones of a horse were found. The archaeologists assume it was buried bridled and fully equipped as there were remains of a mouthpiece, a wooden saddle, saddle straps, an iron stirrup and a felt mat. Therefore, the burial can be classified as elite because the nomads were infrequently buried with their horses. Moreover, this is one of a few such burial grounds on the shore of the Ishim River.

According to Senior Lecturer at the Department of Archaeology and Ethnography of Gumilyov Eurasian National University Alexei Sviridov, the expedition consisted of professors and students of his university, two members of the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and two members of the Institute of Bologna. Members of Zaporizhzhya school history club accompanied them.

"It is our third expedition this year . We have studied four sites. The first two mounds are what historians call cenotaph. [A tombstone in a place that does not contain remains of the deceased, a symbolic grave erected in someone’s honor.] There is hope that there is more to find in these two burials we are working on now," Sviridov said.

By Dinara Urazova

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