Last week, Ancient Origins reported on the fascinating discovery of a golden treasure left by the ancient Saka people in a burial mound in Kazakhstan. It was called one of the most significant finds in helping archaeologists unravel the history of the ancient Scythian sub-group. Now, archaeologists have found the missing element of the Saka burial mound – a ‘golden man’.
There are plans underway to find out more about the man, as lead archaeologist Zeinolla Samashev, stated, “We will do facial reconstruction from the skull of this young man, extract DNA from the bones to find out the environment people lived in back then, to learn about their everyday life and habits”.
That fits in well with the previous discovery of 3000 golden artifacts in the kurgan (burial mound). Archaeologists have unearthed plates, necklaces with precious stones, earrings, beautifully crafted figurines of animals, and golden beads which may have been used to embellish Saka clothing.
The Saka are known to have buried members of the elite in their kurgans, usually in pairs or as a family unit. That means that there may still be other skeletons inside the Yeleke Sazy burial mound.
There are still more plans to excavate in the area because estimates suggest that there may be 200 burial sites in varying states of conservation nearby. Unfortunately, it is believed that looting has been an issue in at least some of the kurgans.