A 150-years-old grave containing a wooden coffin with the remains of a officer of the Imperial Russian Army was found by construction workers in Ardahan, a city near the Turkey’s north-eastern border.
The coffin was found during a construction project of an apartment building in Ardahan’s Karagöl neighbourhood. The workers discovered a wooden coffin with a Russian Orthodox cross on it. After informing the authorities excavations were conducted to fully reveal and secure the find.
Within the coffin a skeleton was discovered wearing a coat and still shiny military boots. The city and the area was under Russian control in the late 19th and early 20th century. The rumour that started circulating was that a body of a Russian general was discovered. Researchers who examined the find invalidated the rumours as the body was identified as belonging to a Russian army captain as his uniform indicated and he had nothing buried with him.
The officer is believed to had probably served during the Russian invasion of Kars and Ardahan following the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War. According to the researchers the person inside the coffin was a Russian captain on duty at a Russian garrison in Ardahan because there were three stars on his uniform, along with the number 20, which possibly was be his register number.
The Russian troops secured the territory in May 1877. The Russian Tsar’s army was stationed in the area during the Russo-Turkish war. The war of 1877–78 was a conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox coalition led by the Russian Empire and composed of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro.
(after Hurriyet Daily News, Daily Sabah & Russia Times)