Pazyryk

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Pazyryk (Russian: Пазырык) is Valley of the Ukok plateau in the Altai Mountains, Siberia, south of the modern city of Novosibirsk, Russia

Site of Iron Age tombs

The Pazyryk burials are a number of Iron Age tombs found in this area. The site is close to the borders with China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.[1]

The tombs are Scythian-type kurgans, barrow-like tomb mounds containing wooden chambers covered over by large cairns of boulders and stones, dated to the 4th - 3rd centuries BCE.[2]

The spectacular burials at Pazyryk are responsible for the introduction of the term kurgan, a Russian word of Turkic origin, into general usage to describe these tombs. The region of the Pazyryk kurgans is considered the type site of the wider Pazyryk culture. The site is included in the Golden Mountains of Altai UNESCO World Heritage Site.[3]

Pazyryk culture

The bearers of the Pazyryk culture were horse-riding pastoral nomads of the steppe, and some may have accumulated great wealth through horse trading with merchants in Persia, India and China.[4]

This wealth is evident in the wide array of finds from the Pazyryk tombs, which include many rare examples of organic objects such as felt hangings, Chinese silk, the earliest known pile carpet, horses decked out in elaborate trappings, and wooden furniture and other household goods. These finds were preserved when water seeped into the tombs in antiquity and froze, encasing the burial goods in ice, which remained frozen in the permafrost until the time of their excavation.

Jat History connections

Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria)[5] writes that The Russian archaeologists discovered innumerable graves of the Saka Kings and chieftains in the Kuban, north of the Caucasus (7th-6th century B.C.), in the Crimea, in south Russia, in the Taman peninsula, in the Dnieper Valley as far up as Kiev, as well as in the Don, Donetz and Volga basins as far westwards as the Urals, in the Dunube basin as far west as Hungary and in what used to be East Prussia and is now Western Poland (6th-5th century B.C.)107. Excavations of the Royal Scythian tombs by M.P. Gryazhnov, S.I. Rudenko and others at Pazyryk and other sites in the Western Altai and nearer to lake Baikal (6th-4th century B.C. contemporary of Herodotus's Royal Scythians of South Russia) were most interesting and informative[6].

References

  1. "Ice Mummies: Siberian Ice Maiden". PBS - NOVA.
  2. A Special Issue on the Dating of Pazyryk. Source: Notes in the History of Art 10, no. 4, p. 4.
  3. "Golden Mountains of Altai". UNESCO.
  4. Bahn, Paul G. (2000). The Atlas of World Geology. New York: Checkmark Books. p. 128. ISBN 0-8160-4051-6.
  5. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/The identification of the Jats,p.318
  6. Artamonov, M.I.; 'Frozen Tombs of the Scythians', in the Scientific American, May, 1965, Vol. 212, No.5, pp. 100-109.