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18 July 2012
Bronze Age grave unearthed in Kazakhstan

Murat Kalmenov, senior fellow, and Serik Ramazanov, deputy director, of the West Kazakhstan Centre of History and Archeology have found the grave of a young woman dating back to the Bronze Age situated in the territory of the ancient city of Zhaiyk, some 12 kilometers from Uralsk. They claim that this discovery is unique. The woman was buried in a fetal position with her body directed toward the west. It is believed that people of her time thought that a person buried in such a way would receive a second birth - people buried their relatives and friends in this manner in the Bronze Age, more than 2000 years ago.
     Earlier archeological information had dated Uralsk back to the 14th century. With this funerary discovery there is now proof that the city is much older. The ancient female skeleton was situated near an 800-year old brick furnace - the archeological team accidentally found the landmark site during routine excavations on the furnace. The two discoveries located in close physical proximity were, in fact, separated by two millennia in time. The burial was situated higher than the base of the furnace. Researchers found an inscription marker in the furnace area noting that there was a burial mound present in the 14th century. Fellow Kalmenov believes that people living in the 14 century did not recognize the mound as a burial area before building the furnace near it.
     There are a lot of such historical complexes in this territory of Kazakhstan - excavations in Akzhaiyk, Chingirlau and Kaztal, all nearby regions, are planned to be launched this year. Deputy Director Ramazanov said, "In 2009 we found a similar ancient city in the Kaztal region... bigger than Zhaiyk. (The length of that city was 900 meters and the width was estimated at 300 meters.) We excavated one residential area within that city and we are going to continue working there." An open-air museum is planned to be built near the ancient city of Zhaiyk, where archeologists can collect all historical and archeological monuments of the region for public display and education.

Edited from Caspio Net (11 June 2012)

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