5000 Year Old Couple Found Buried Together in Kazakhstan

  • Archeologists Unearth buried couple in Kazhkstan
  • Two sacrificed horses also discovered
  • Weapons, jewellery and pottery found at grave site
  • The find dates back as far as 5000 years to the Bronze Age

Archeologists in the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan have uncovered the chariot style grave of what is believed to be a couple and their two sacrificed horses, the find dating back as far as 5000 years.

Surrounded by standing stones, the grave is largely intact and the remains all in good condition, designed in a layout that seems to evoke that of a chariot being rode into the afterlife, both of the horses buried back to back in front of the couple. Horses were frequently seen during the burials of great Kazakh warriors and held a place of great symbolism in the country, denoting both military power and prestige, horse burials being a feature of many high status warriors.

The deceased themselves show no immediate sign of trauma, suggesting that the deaths may not have been the result of battle and speculation is that one of the deceased may have either committed suicide or been killed upon the death of their significant other.

During the Bronze Age, Kazakstan was inhabited by tribes of the Andron and Begazy-Dandybay culture, engaged in farming and cattle breeding. The tribes were noted for their proficiency, not only as farmers and shepherds, but as warriors and in particular for their chariot riding. The chariot was an important part of ancient culture, its image being depicted in rock carvings in natural temples, while burials of warriors are of an impressive size and nature,

“Such coupled burials are not a rarity in our area, but the question of how the second person joined the deceased is still very much in the air. Was the woman – or the man – killed to make sure they ‘followed’ their other half? Was this man and woman a husband and wife? Or was the couple made of a man and a woman who were not related, but died around the same time? Our initial research on these skeletons showed no visible harm done to the people, but more detailed work should help clarify the cause of their deaths.” – Dr. Igor Kukushkin, archaeologist in charge of the excavation.

While the grave seems to have been robbed in antiquity, experts believe that there is enough evidence to suggest the deceased male may have been a charioteer with both horses buried in “working position,” complete with psalia made from horn, a remnant of their harness, designed to keep the head in position linked between themselves and a harness by leather belts.

Also found at the site was pottery, spear heads and on the male, untouched by ancient tomb robbers, was a quiver set and a metal dagger, with the female having green bracelets made of semi precious stone, a bronze and semi precious stone necklace and pendants.

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