Monday, 7 September 2015

Treasure trove of Sarmatian jewellery unearthed in Russia

A trove of ancient jewellery has been found in the grave of a woman dating to the first century AD. She was a Sarmatian - a group of people who worshipped fire and whose prominent role in warfare was seen as an inspiration for the Amazons of Greek mythology.

And the discovery of the intact burial mound in Russia has been described as 'priceless' by archaeologists.

Sarmatian cataphracts during Dacian Wars as depicted on Trajan's Column.
The Sarmatians were nomadic people who migrated from central Asia to the Ural mountains between the 6th and 4th century BC. They were fierce warriors who fought on horseback and sacrificed horses to their fire god.

As well as gold and silver jewellery, the experts found more than 100 iron arrowheads in the grave, as well as a horse harness.

Next to the skull were gold earrings.
The noblewoman's grave and treasures are in a group of at least 29 burial mounds that came to light during the construction of a new airport serving Rostov-on-Don.

Archaeologist Roman Mimokhod said: 'Most of the burials on this site are plundered and, of course, it is great luck to find an intact one.

Gold vial

At her feet there were fragments of a bronze bucket with floral ornaments and the image of the Gorgon's head on a stick.
A small 'hiding place' in the grave contained a collection of knives and an unfinished sword with brooches on its handle. 'One of the most unusual things about these finds is that items in the burial were dated from the first century BC to the first century AD.

A Sarmatian diadem, found at the Khokhlach kurgan near Novocherkassk (1st century AD, Hermitage Museum).