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2,000-Year-Old Cemetery in Siberia Leads Archaeologists to Discover New Culture

In 2021, as they were removing a hill, workers in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk happened upon old skeletons and more. The hill, as it turned out, was not a hill but a kurgan, a raised mass that held burial chamber within, and the skeletons were 2,000 years old.

In Krasnoyarsk, a group of skeletons were found in what is known as a kurgan.PHOTO DIMITRY VINOGRADOV
Archaeologists in Siberia have identified a previously unknown culture after workers bulldozing land uncovered an ancient gravesite.

Archaeologists from the the Siberian Federal University, working under the leadership of Dmitry Vinogradov, got to work and discovered that the skeletons and the burial mound belonged to a culture that had never before been identified.

According to Haaretz, Vinogradov and his team believe that the culture was similar to the Scythians, who lived in Crimea and in the area north of Black Sea more than two millennia ago. While their name was initially given to them by authors such as Herodotus, archaeologists now understand the Scythians to have been more than one people. The newly discovered cemetery may have illuminated another group that would have been lumped in with the Scythians.

The archaeologists who discovered the kurgan believe that it had been sealed and burned. There were also pit burials surrounding the kurgan.

Etruscan specialist Federica Sacchetti cleans ceremonial objects inside an Etruscan grave on March 27, 2019, at an archaeological site in Aleria, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. – An underground Etruscan grave nearly 24 centuries old has been discovered under a Roman necropolis south of Aleria, a first in 40 years which provides a “key of comprehension” to this ancient Mediterranean civilisation. (Photo by PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP) (Photo credit should read PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP via Getty Images)

Alongside the skeletons found in the tomb, the archaeologists found sacred artifacts and weapons. Through these objects, the archaeologists were able to determine that the people buried there did not belong to the Tagar culture, whose people did not craft artifacts such as the ones found in the Krasnoyarsk tomb.