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Major archeological sites discovered on route of proposed Altai gas pipe

By The Siberian Times reporter
18 February 2013

Burial grounds dating from the Scythian period several thousand years ago lie on the line of the expected gas pipe linking Russia and China.

The greatest number of archaeological sites were found in the southern part of the Altai Mountains in the Altaiskiy and the Sovetskiy districts. Picture: The SIberian TImes

Archeologists have identified some 27 sites dating from the Early Iron Age to the Middle Ages, announced Altai State University. Some 23 of these are directly threatened by the pipeline.

One site containing Pleistocene Era bones - close to the pipeline's Chumysh River crossing - maybe a graveyard of woolly mammoths. 

'If construction is started without prior scientific studies, the artifacts are doomed to destruction,' said a source. 

'One artifact is of the Bronze Age, two belong to the Middle Ages. One site constitutes most probably, a resettlement point of the Stolypin period,' said Dmitry Papin, of Altai State University.

Princess Ukok


Princess Ukok

Previous excavations of the led to the discovery of 'Princess Ukok' - whose remarkable tattooed remains were preserved in permafrost. Pictures: The Siberian Times 
The university's president, Professor Yuri Kiryushin, said the archeological survey findings must be taken into account by the gas pipeline design engineers. 

'They have to bypass the artifacts wherever possible. If this cannot be done, it is essential to allocate funds for further excavations which will make it possible to remove the historical artifacts from the gas pipeline route'. 

This could bring some intriguing finds. 

The greatest number of archaeological sites were found in the southern part of the Altai Mountains in the Altaiskiy and the Sovetskiy districts. 

Included are the Scythian settlement Chuy, located on the right bank of Katun river; a complex of settlements called Poperechniy, located at head of the Poperechniy stream in the mountains; the settlement settlement Yenisey; located on the right bank of Biya river; and a Scythian burial area with 30 or so mounds.

Previous excavations of the led to the discovery of 'Princess Ukok' - whose remarkable tattooed remains were preserved in permafrost - see the story here.

The prospective gas pipeline 'Altai' is contemplated to link the gasfields of Western Siberia with the Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous District in China's west.

The overall length of the gas pipeline will be about 6,700 km, with 2,700 km of the pipeline running across Russia's territory.

Comments (2)

What we need is someone in the oil business with a personal interest in archeology to 'persuade' others not to destroy these sites but to make them into a kind of national park area.
Philip, UK
20/02/2013 20:30
2
0
stunning tattoos.... and I'm sure there is so much more to discover. Something tells me though that the great siberian archeologists would never win vs gas pipe profits
thinking one, outside Russia
20/02/2013 00:15
0
0
1

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