Bronze Age burial next to the Lake Baikal has become a mystery for archaeologists who can’t reveal the purpose of the content of leather pouch placed between the man’s kneecaps and a dagger.
It is believed that the found couple is an elderly man together with his wife or concubine who have been buried together for eternity to show love and affection. Certain features of the couple show that they belonged to the Bronze Age Glazkov culture.
The main skeleton had a ring made of a rather rare material – white jade over one eye socket. Besides that there were three more on his chest. According to the archaeologist Dr Dmitry Kichigin, these rings were somehow connected with their beliefs about afterlife. The samples of the couple’s bones have been sent to Canada for radiocarbon analysis, though Russian team still believes that the couple is around 4,500-5000 years old.
The most fascinating fact about this couple, that it was found lying on its backs, heads to west and hand in hand. This is a sacred place since Neolithic times. While the male skeleton is complete, the female’s upper part got destroyed by rodents. Next to the woman there was found a huge knife made of jade, around 13 cm in length and 7cm wide. The pendants of red deer and musk deer around male’s skull and feet probably were used to decorate his hat and shoes.
So far archaeologists don’t know if the couple was related, it would be perfect to run the DNA test, but it is a very expensive task.
The exact location of the burial is kept in secret just to avoid some diggers to destroy the site, as the area might contain more of such burials to explore.
Archaeologists are happy already that they managed to find at least one well preserved skeleton, which is a dream of many scientists. Though they are still trying to figure out the meaning of the massive knife and the metal implement found in the small leather bag.
This was for sure a sacred place for ancient people, and wasn’t used for settlements but rather for religious rites and later on as a graveyard. Scientists are planning to continue their work next year to explore more of the hidden burials in the same area and are very sure this site is full of archaeological discoveries.