Kazakhstan: Archeologists Unearth “Princess of the Scythians”
Archeologists in Kazakhstan have discovered the ancient grave of a young woman who has acquired the nickname “Princess of the Scythians.”The elaborate tomb was found in Urdzhar district in eastern Kazakhstan during road repairs, Tengri News reports, quoting expedition leader Timur Smagulov. A team of lecturers and students was called in to investigate, and the group unearthed a stone sarcophagus containing the body of a young girl.The “Princess of the Scythians” was clearly a prominent figure, judging by the treasures buried with her, most notably a gold headdress decorated with figures of animals and topped with arrowheads. It is similar to the one worn by Kazakhstan’s most famous archeological find, the Golden Man – a Scythian warrior prince interred wearing some 4,000 gold ornaments. This type of headdress was part of the ceremonial clothing that the leaders of the Scythians – who inhabited the Eurasian steppe in ancient times – used to parade in, Smagulov said. “It is quite possible that the buried woman was the daughter of a king of the Saka Tigrakhuda tribe.” The grave – which also contained ceramics and the bones of a sacrificed sheep – is believed to date from the 4th or 3rd century BC, the same period as the Golden Man’s burial site. Amazing archeological finds are nothing new for Kazakhstan. Back in 2010 archeologists discovered the tomb of a gold-clad ancient Scythian warrior, nicknamed “The Sun Lord,” whose torso was entirely covered with gold.
Joanna Lillis is a journalist based in Almaty and author of Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan.
Sign up for Eurasianet's free weekly newsletter.