Unraveling Mysteries: Enigmatic Mummies Unearthed in Russia with Intriguing Ties to Ancient Persia.
The indigenous Nenets people have referred to the distant location near the Arctic Circle known as Zeleniy Yar as “the end of the world.” Archaeologists have just begun excavations at the site. This same site has already revealed nearly a dozen mysterious mummies that appear to be foreign to the region, and whose artefacts can be traced back to ancient Persia, which is nearly 6,000 kilometres away. These mummies appear to have been buried in a different region than the one in which they were discovered. Genetic analysis is being carried out by researchers in order to find out more about the ancient civilisation that produced the mummies and uncover the mysteries surrounding it.
It was early last decade when Russian archaeologists discovered 34 shallow graves and 11 mummified corpses in what appears to be a necropolis dating back 800 years. However, excavations were halted due to locals living on the Yamal peninsula who argued that the work was disturbing the souls of their ancestors, a plea which has been ignored by the current team of researchers, headed by Alexander Pilipenko, research fellow of Insтιтute of Cytology and Genetics, part of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The finding was extremely rare – the mummies were found in a well-preserved state, seemingly by accident, and wearing copper masks. Seven male adults, three male infants, and one female 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥 were discovered, buried among a hoard of jewellery and other artifacts. Their skulls are shattered or missing, while the skeletons were smashed. Five mummies are covered in copper, as well as reindeer, beaver, wolverine, or bear fur. One of the mummies is a red-haired male, protected from chest to foot by copper plating. In his resting place, was an iron hatchet, furs, and a head buckle made of bronze depicting a bear.
Researchers believe that the mummification of the bodies was not intentional but was caused by a combination of the copper, which prevented oxidation of the remains, and a dip in temperatures in the centuries after the group were buried.
“Nowhere in the world are there so many mummified remains found outside the permafrost or the marshes’” said Natalia Fyodorova, of the Urals branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as reported in The Siberian Times .Ms Fyodorova also believes that the condition and orientation of the remains reflect some type of religious ritual. She suggested that the smashing of the skulls may have been done soon after death “to render protection from mysterious spells believed to emanate from the deceased”. The feet of the deceased are also all pointing towards the nearby Gorny Poluy River, which is seen as having religious significance. However, such burial rituals are said to be unknown to experts and not typical of others in the region, which suggests that the mummies belong to a foreign race of people.
Indeed, the artifacts suggest this possibility. Some of the items found at the site, including bronze bowls, originated in Persia some 3,700 miles (6,000 km) to the south-west and dating from the 10th or 11th centuries. The discovery adds to the evidence that Siberia was not an isolated wasteland but a crossroads of international trade and cultural diversity.