Decapitated bodies found within Siberian burial mound

Archaeologists discovered burials of the Pazyryk culture at the Taldur II site near Old Beltir village, Russia’s Altai Republic. One of the grave mounds at the site contained the remains of an adult and a child with their heads cut off and places near the knees of the older individual.

Bodies of a an adult and child found within the burial mound (by The Siberian Times)
Bodies of a an adult and child found within the burial mound (by The Siberian Times)

The tomb contained remains of an adult and a child, probably a teenager, of yet unrecognised gender. They were equipped for the afterlife with warm fur clothes, bronze mirrors, and ceramic vessels. But the decapitation evidence is what makes this burial unique, as it is different to anything seen before from the Pazyryk culture’s graves.

The interior of the burial mound (by The Siberian Times)
The interior of the burial mound (by The Siberian Times)

Among this Siberian culture’s burials, inhumations without heads are quite common. The reason for this was most possibly trauma during fighting and wars. The experts say that there was a widespread practice in which bowls were made of the heads of defeated enemies to eat from them. But the newly discovered burial is different as the cut off heads were buried with the bodies.

Pazyryk culture burial mound (by The Siberian Times)
Pazyryk culture burial mound (by The Siberian Times)

The child burial also is unique as previously no such decapitated body was found. It was discussed whether this situation was not a result of grave robbing, but the anatomical order of the skeletons and presence of grave goods testifies against this theory.

Bronze mirrors found in the burial (The Siberian Times)
Bronze mirrors found in the burial (The Siberian Times)

Further analysis of the skeletal material is scheduled. The gender, approximate age at the time of death, bone trauma and suffered diseases should be revealed and shed more light on the life of these individuals.

Remains of golden foil from the tomb (by The Siberian Times)
Remains of golden foil from the tomb (by The Siberian Times)

(after The Siberian Times)

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