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Golden Princess found 2 years ago finally shown to public 10 сентября 2014, 14:32

The most significant archaeological find in Kazakhstan has finally been presented to the anxiously waiting public.
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©Dinara Urazova ©Dinara Urazova

Golden Princess is the most astonishing archaeological find of recent years in Kazakhstan. It took two years of careful tests and research to understand the truly global significance of this find. For one, it shows that the Sacae described by Herodotus were the Saka tribes of Central Asia.

Herodotus wrote in his Histories: “The Sacae, who are Scythians, have high caps tapering to a point and stiffly upright, which they wear on their heads.”

The Golden Princess found in West Kazakhstan Oblast had a high conical cap topped with a golden pommel shaped as a mountain goat head.

Headdress. Photo courtesy of Krym Altynbekov

Head of West Kazakhstan Oblast Center for History and Archaeology Murat Sdykov said that the hat was a unique artefact not found anywhere else before. “That is what we have been talking about – the Saka Tigraxauda, who wore pointed caps, the Scythians described by Herodotus, this has finally been confirmed,” the scientist said as quoted by Moi Gorod.

At last, residents of Uralsk, the administrative center of the Oblast where the discovery was made, were able to see the exhibition of the reconstructed ancient Saka costume. The permanent exhibition was unveiled on 6 September as part of the City Day celebrations.

The presentation was held at the Museum of Regional History, where the visitors were shown the artifacts found during the excavations, including golden jewelry and the reconstructed costume prepared by renowned Kazakh archeologist and restorer Krym Altynbekov.

Full garment reconstruction by Krym Altynbekov. Photo courtesy of Krym Altynbekov

The archeological find was made 2 years ago. It contained the skeleton of a noble woman and two female guards. The burial mound called Taksay-1 also had all sorts of gold and silver vessels, makeup kits, remnants of richly decorated headdress and many pieces of golden jewelry, a horse bridle and household items that were believed to be necessary in the afterlife. The artifact of particular importance was a wooden comb depicting a battle scene in the war of the Saka against the Persians.

Reconstruction of the comb by Krym Altynbekov. Photo courtesy of Krym Altynbekov

The noble woman was covered with a blanket embroidered with golden plaques, earning her the name of the Golden Woman or Golden Princess.

Now, it is believed the woman was a priestess and her body was burnt before burial.

"It took two years to conduct the scientific study and establish the age, sex, burial rites and chronology. Scientists from Russia, Germany and Japan have taken part and enabled us to establish the precise dating: VI-V century BC. The age of the buried woman was 17-20," Sdykov was reported as saying by Moi Gorod.

This makes the burial the oldest of its kind on the territory of Kazakhstan.

Yana Lukpanova, head of the archaeological expedition and research fellow at the Oblast Center for History and Archeology described the importance of the finding to Moi Gorod: “Golden Woman jewelry pieces are completely different from each other in their making, their nature and semantic content. I will highlight the most central - cone-shaped headdress, at the end of which there is an image of a mountain goat. There are no known analogues of this hat. Swastika-shaped plaques that show the course of the sun during the day, as well as bracelets with a scene of a predator tearing a herbivore. In addition, also found were the temple pendants. They are a symbol of fertility, wealth and prosperity. All jewelry pieces are of high quality. There were 119 pieces found overall.”

Experts believe that the "Golden Princess" will become part of the global historical and cultural heritage. The discovery will be officially presented at the National Museum of Astana in September.

By Dinara Urazova


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