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Encyclopedia > Pazyryk
Horseman, Pazyryk felt artifact, c.300 BC.
Horseman, Pazyryk felt artifact, c.300 BC.

Pazyryk is a local name for a valley in the Altai Mountains lying in Siberian Russia south of the modern city of Novosibirsk, near the borders with China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. It is part of the Ukok plateau, where many ancient Bronze Age barrow-like tomb mounds of larch logs covered over by large cairns of boulders and stones have been found. In Russian, such "barrows" are called kurgans—a word of Turkic origin— and the spectacular Scythian burials at Pazyryk introduced "kurgan" into general usage to describe such log-barrow burials. Download high resolution version (480x640, 148 KB)Pazyrik horseman. ... Download high resolution version (480x640, 148 KB)Pazyrik horseman. ... Fljótsdalur in East-Iceland A valley is a landform, which can range from a few square miles (square kilometers) to hundreds or even thousands of square miles (square kilometers) in area. ... For the republic in Russia, see Altai Republic. ... Official website: http://www. ... The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking has developed the techniques of smelting copper from natural outcroppings and alloys it to cast bronze. ... Burial of Oleg of Novgorod in a tumulus in 912. ... One of many cairns marking British mass graves at the site of the Battle of Isandlwana. ... The Turkic languages constitute a language family of some thirty languages, spoken across a vast area from Eastern Europe to Siberia and Western China with an estimated 140 million native speakers and tens of millions of second-language speakers. ... Scythian warriors, drawn after figures on an electrum cup from the KulOba kurgan burial near Kerch. ... Kurgan is a Türkic word for tumulus, burial mound or barrow, heaped over a burial chamber, or a kurgan cenotaph. ...


Some of the tombs were excavated by the archaeologist Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko beginning in the 1920s. While many of the tombs were already looted in earlier times, Rudenko unearthed buried horses, and with them immaculately preserved cloth saddles, felt and woolen rugs including the world's oldest pile carpet and other splendid objects that had escaped the ravages of time. Other undisturbed kurgans have been found to contain remarkably well-preserved remains. Bodies were preserved using mummification techniques and were also naturally frozen in solid ice from water seeping into the tombs. They were encased in coffins made from hollowed trunks of larch (which may have had sacral significance) and sometimes accompanied by sacrificed concubines and horses. The clustering of tombs in a single area implies that it had particular ritual significance for these people, who were likely to have been willing to transport their deceased leaders great distances for burial. Archaeology or sometimes in American English archeology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains, including architecture, artefacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko The worlds most spectacular tattooed mummy was discovered by Russian anthropologist Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko in1948 during the excavation of a group of Pazyryk tombs about 120 miles north of the border between China and Russia. ... A carpet is any loom-woven, felted textile or grass floor covering. ... A mummy is a corpse whose skin and dried flesh have been preserved by either intentional or accidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold or dryness, or airlessness. ...

Contents


Tattooed chieftain

Rudenko's most striking discovery was the body of a tattooed Pazyryk chief: a thick-set, powerfully built man who had died when he was about 50. Parts of the body had deteriorated, but much of the tattooing was still clearly visible.


The chief was elaborately decorated with an interlocking series of designs representing a variety of fantastic beasts. The best preserved tattoos were images of a donkey, a mountain ram, two highly stylized deer with long antlers and an imaginary carnivore on the right arm. Two monsters resembling griffins decorate the chest, and on the left arm are three partially obliterated images which seem to represent two deer and a mountain goat. On the front of the right leg a fish extends from the foot to the knee. A monster crawls over the right foot, and on the inside of the shin is a series of four running rams which touch each other to form a single design. The left leg also bears tattoos, but these designs could not be clearly distinguished. In addition, the chief's back is tattooed with a series of small circles in line with the vertebral column. Leopard on shoulder A tattoo is a mark made by inserting pigment into the skin: in technical terms, tattooing is micro-pigment implantation. ... Binomial name Equus asinus Linnaeus, 1758 For other uses, see Donkey (disambiguation). ... Argali, or the mountain sheep (species Ovis ammon) is the globally endangered wild sheep, which roams the highlands of Central Asia (Himalaya, Tibet, Altay). ... Subfamilies Capreolinae Cervinae Hydropotinae Muntiacinae A deer is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. ... The lion is a well-known, truly carnivorous member of the order Carnivora. ... Roman griffon, Turkey This article is on the animal. ... The Guppy, also known as guppie (Poecilia reticulata) is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish species in the world. ...


This tattooing was probably done for therapeutic reasons. Contemporary Siberian tribesmen still practice tattooing of this kind to relieve back pain.


No instruments specifically designed for tattooing were found, but the Pazyryks had extremely fine needles with which they did miniature embroidery, and these were probably used for tattooing. Gold Embroidery Cross-stitch embroidery, Hungary, mid-20th century Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with designs stitched in strands of thread or yarn using a needle. ...


The "Ice Maiden" (4th c. BCE)

The most famous undisturbed Pazyryk burial so far recovered is the "Ice Maiden" found by archaeologist Natalia Polosmak in 1993, a rare example of a single woman given a full ceremonial wooden chamber-tomb in the 5th century BCE, accompanied by six horses. It had been buried over 2,400 years ago in a casket fashioned from the hollowed-out trunk of a larch tree. On the outside of the casket were stylized images of deer and snow leopards carved in leather. Shortly after burial the grave had apparently been flooded by freezing rain and the entire contents of the burial chamber had remained frozen in permafrost. Six horses wearing elaborate harnesses had been sacrificed and lay on the logs which formed the roof of the burial chamber. 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Binomial name Uncia uncia (Schreber, 1775) The snow leopards range A snow leopard cub The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of central Asia. ... In geology, permafrost or permafrost soil is soil that stays in a frozen state for more than two years in a row. ...


The maiden's well-preserved body, carefully embalmed with peat and bark, was arranged to lie on her side as if asleep. She was young; her hair was still blonde; she had been 5 feet 6 inches tall. Even the animal style tattoos were preserved on her pale skin: creatures with horns that develop into flowered forms. Her coffin was made large enough to accommodate the high felt headdress she was wearing, which had 15 gilded wooden birds sewn to it. On a gold buckle retrieved from another tomb, a similar woman's headdress intertwined with branches of the tree of life are depicted. Her blouse was made of wild "tussah" silk; she was clad in a long crimson woolen skirt and white felt stockings. Near her coffin was a vessel made of yak horn, and dishes containing gifts of coriander seeds: all of which suggest that the Pazyryk trade routes stretched across vast areas of Asia. Similar dishes in other tombs held Cannabis sativa, confirming a practice described by Herodotus. Animal style is a type of imagery used in Europe and western Asia during the ancient and medieval periods, characterized by animals or animal-like forms arranged in intricate patterns or combats. ... Leopard on shoulder A tattoo is a mark made by inserting pigment into the skin: in technical terms, tattooing is micro-pigment implantation. ... Binomial name Bos grunniens Linnaeus, 1766 Subspecies Bos grunniens grunniens Bos grunniens mutus The yak (Bos grunniens) is a long-haired humped domestic bovine found in Tibet and throughout the Himalayan region of south central Asia, as well as in Mongolia. ... Binomial name Coriandrum sativum L. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), also commonly called cilantro in North America, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. ... Binomial name Cannabis sativa Linnaeus Cannabis sativa, also known as hemp, is a species of Cannabis. ... Bust of Herodotus at Naples Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: , Herodotos) was a historian who lived in the 5th century BC (484 BC-ca. ...


Two years after the discovery of the "Ice Maiden" Dr. Polosmak's husband, Vyacheslav Molodin, found a frozen man, elaborately tattooed with an elk, with two long braids that reached to his waist, buried with his weapons.


Attribution

Rudenko initially assigned the neutral label Pazyryk culture for these nomadic pasturalists of horses and dated them to the 5th century BC. The Pazyryk culture has since been connected with the Scythians, whose very similar tombs are found across the steppes. It has been suggested that Pazyryk was a homeland for these tribes before they migrated west. There is also the possibility that the current inhabitants of the Altai region are descendants of the Pazyryk culture, a continuity that would accord with current ethnic politics: DNA is now being used to study the Pazyryk mummies. Meanwhile, local unwillingness to see their presumed ancestors disturbed has closed the site to archaeologists for the time being. Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The horse( (Equus caballus sometimes seen as a subspecies of the Wild Horse, Equus ferus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the genus Equus. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 5th century BC started on January 1, 500 BC and ended on December 31, 401 BC. // Overview The Parthenon of Athens seen from the hill of the Pnyx to the west. ... Scythia was an area in Eurasia inhabited in ancient times by an Indo-Aryans known as the Scythians. ...


External links

  • A collection at Novosibirsk State University site, including Pazyryk
  • 1998 NOVA documentary: "Ice Mummies: Siberian Ice Maiden" Transcript.
  • BME wiki: Pazyryk Mummies

  Results from FactBites:
 
Pazyryk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (970 words)
Pazyryk is a local name for a valley in the Altai Mountains lying in Siberian Russia south of the modern city of Novosibirsk, near the borders with China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
The most famous undisturbed Pazyryk burial so far recovered is the "Ice Maiden" found by archaeologist Natalia Polosmak in 1993, a rare example of a single woman given a full ceremonial wooden chamber-tomb in the 5th century BCE, accompanied by six horses.
The Pazyryk culture has since been connected with the Scythians, whose very similar tombs are found across the steppes.
Pazyryk (274 words)
Pazyryk is a local name for a part of the Altai Mountains lying in Russia, near the borders with China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
The Pazyryk culture has been connected with the Scythians described by the ancient Greeks, whose very similar tombs are found elsewhere.
There is also the possibility that the current inhabitants of the Altai region are descendants of the Pazyryk culture: their unwillingness to see their presumed ancestors disturbed has closed the site to archaeologists for the time being.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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