|20 October 2010
Ancient buried cities discovered in Russia
Twenty settlements, each laid out in the shape of a spiral have been uncovered along the Russian border with Kazakhstan. The cities date from approximately 4,000-3,500 years BCE, which would place their construction shortly after the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Their size is similar to some of the city states of ancient Greece.
The settlements may have been the home of the so-called original 'Aryan' peoples, whose language is beleived to be the precuror of the modern Indo-European languages. The chief archaeologist for the excavations is Gennady Zdanovich. He and his team have uncovered fortresses, homes and ceremonial sites along with enclosures for animals. They were probably occupied by about 2,000 individuals. The street layout resembles an ammonite fossil. Each city is surrounded by a ditch and has a central square. Many artifcats have been found at the sites, some decorated with swastikas, the ancient symbol representing the sun and eternal life. The swastika was later adopted by the Nazi party, who claimed that they represented a 'master race' of Aryans.
There is evedence at several of the locations of the burial of horses, who may have been ritually sacrificed. This practice is also found in India and is described in ancient Indian texts. It may indicate that the Russian settlers were the ancestors of many Indo-European peoples, or that their culture spread across Europe and Asia.
The first discovery, the city of Arkaim, was made in 1989, by aerial photography.
Edited from The Australian (4 October 2010), Deccan Herald (12 October 2010)
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