24 May 2017

Ancient mummy wearing "Adidas boots"

From The Siberian Times:
'Judging by what was found inside the burial we guess that she was from an ordinary social strata,' said Galbadrakh Enkhbat.This is despite the classy appearance of some of the possessions with which she is buried, which might suggest to the uninformed a higher status.

'Various sewing utensils were found with her. This is only our guess, but we think she could have been a seamstress.'..

With her in the grave - found at an altitude of 2,803 metres above sea level - archeologists unearthed 51 items including a 'stunningly beautiful embroidered bag', four costumes, vases, a saddle, her sewing kit and the skull head of a ram.

'The bag was made of felt,' he said. 'Inside was the sewing kit and since the embroidery was on both the bag and the shoes, we can be certain that the embroidery was done by locals.

The women is believed to be of Turkik origin, and the burial is one of the most complete ever found. Experts now believe on the basis of 18 samples taken from the mummy that it does not date from the 6th century AD, as first surmised, but rather from the 10th century, but DNA and radiocarbon testing is still awaited. 
Many more photos at the link.  Here's the bag:


  1. Wait - 10th century AD is "ancient" now? Nonetheless, cool stuff!

  2. How long does someone have to be buried before it goes from grave robbery to archaeology? Is there an actual time limit? I'm not trying to troll here, it's just the first thing I thought of when I saw this was from the 10th Century.

    1. There is a category termed "rescue archaeology" which allows the excavation and removal of objects that are doomed (by construction, erosion etc). These objects may have been in the no-longer-perma frost and also "'When the find was first made in 2015, it was relatively intact but in 2016 some portions of the grave had opened up, livestock animals had eaten some part of it, which prompted the joint team to dig the find and take it to the Khovd museum.'"

      Another form of archaeology involves digging garbage dumps, from as recently as the 1950s.

      So no, I don't think there's an absolute time limit, though graves must introduce an element of cultural sensitivity.


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