|27 August 2006
Scythian mummy shown in Germany
An international group of archaeologists has shown photos of a well-preserved 2,500-year-old mummy of a Scythian warrior found in Mongolia. The president of the German Archaeological Institute, Hermann Parzinger, hailed the "fabulous find" at a press conference to present the 28-member team`s discovery in Berlin. As we already mentioned in the news published last 19 August, it was unearthed at a height of 2,600m (8,500ft) in an intact burial mound in the Altai Mountains this summer. Parzinger said the tomb was practically untouched when the team discovered it. "We just had to sweep away some dust and could begin," he said.
Until now remains of the Scythians - who were Iranian nomadic peoples - had only been found on the Russian side of the Altai, the scientists said. The mummy was found in the snow-capped mountains by the team of scientists from Germany, Russia and Mongolia.
Parzinger said the ice had helped to preserve the mummy and noted that global warming also posed a threat to such archaeological finds. That if the trend continues, in 20 to 30 years there would be no more ice kurgans.
Researchers said the most striking feature about the man was his light blond hair, which Parzinger acknowledged may have yellowed after his death. The man, who was apparently well-off, was cloaked in a beaver-skin coat with sable trim and sheep`s wool lining that was in remarkably good condition, and still intact skin on his upper body revealed tattoos. Two horses with elaborately decorated saddles and bridles, weapons and wooden, clay and animal horn vessels were placed in the tomb alongside the corpse to accompany the warrior into the next life.
The recovered items are currently in storage in Ulan Bator. Parzinger said even the contents of the horses` stomachs would be examined to offer insights into the region`s vegetation two centuries before Christ.
Sources: Yahoo! News, BBC News (24 August 2006), Antara News (27 August 2006)
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