Thousands of Gold and Precious Metal Items Found in Saka Burial Mound

In an ancient funeral mound in Kazakhstan, archeologists have discovered a trove of millennia-old golden jewelry. The Saka was once the home of the remote mountains of Tarbagata, where Kazakhstan meets north China.

The skilled horsemen were nomadic people who moved throughout Eurasia across Iran, India, and Central Asia for hundreds of years — until they were conquered by Turkic invaders in the 4th century A.D.

It’s believed these glittering objects may have belonged to members of their elite.

Although many myths about the people of Saka remain, their metal abilities are well known. Among the findings are intricate earrings shaped like small bells, a necklace studded with precious stones, and piles of chains and gold plates.

Tiny animals have been expertly wrought out of gold. The items show evidence of micro-soldering, a highly sophisticated technique for artifacts estimated to be as much as 2,800 years old.

Precisely who the people buried with these precious treasures are is still unknown, with their graves yet to be excavated by archaeologists.

He had been buried in a wooden casket alongside a total of 4,800 gold adornments, including rings, earrings, a sword, and even a gold-encrusted whip. Some scholars have since suggested that he may have been a young king who died at just 18 years of age.

Some 200 other burial mounds have since been found on the fertile Kazakh plateau, which was regarded as a paradise by Saka kings.

Few have been found with quite so much treasure, however, since widespread looting during the time of Peter the Great depleted many of the burial sites of their riches. Experts say that the area has become a focus for archaeologists, who hope to find other precious objects in other sites. “There are a lot of burial mounds here and the prospects are very large,” Kazakh archeologist Yerben Oralbai told Mail Online.

Kazakhstani archaeologists were excavating a Kurgan or a burial mound in the remote Eleke Sazy plateau in the Northeast of the Central Asian Republic. The team of experts is led by Professor Zainolla Samashev, who stated that “a large number of valuable finds in this burial mound” was unearthed, reports KITCO News . The site was first excavated two years ago, but there was also some digging at the site in the 18 th century in the reign of Tsar Peter the Great.

In total some 3000 golden objects have been recovered. The golden treasure includes plates, and jewelry, including, chains with precious stones and bell-shaped ear-rings. A large number of exquisitely crafted animals have also been found. There have also been a great number of golden beads that were used to decorate the elaborate clothing of the Saka. It is believed that the find dates from approximately 2,800 to 3000 years ago.

The discovery of so many astonishing golden objects is demonstrating the sophistication of the Saki and that they were master craft persons. It also demonstrates that, despite the fact that the Saki were nomads, they were very advanced. The discovery of the golden objects and the expectations of many more in the Kurgan will allow experts to gain more insights into the Saki and their culture.

There are plans for more excavations in the area, it is believed that there are some 200 burial sites in the locality. There are so many located here because, according to the Daily Mail, ‘the plateau with rich pastures was seen as paradise by the Saka Kings’. However, experts are cautious about how many more discoveries are yet to be made. That is because grave robbers and looters have long been removing precious items from the Kurgans.

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