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Ian Frazier, 2013

Russian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from ancient Scythian burial

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 April 2021

Society’s president Sergei Shoigu - Russian defence minister - even hinted at possibility of cloning during annual meeting.

Shamans performed a rite to bless the start of excavation at the ancient Tunnug burial mound. Picture: Alexey Mikhailov/RGS

‘Very keen to find organic matter. I think you understand what might follow - if not for Dolly the sheep, it would be possible to make something out of it’, Sergey Shoigu, 66 said in a somewhat bizarre statement during 14 April’s board meeting. 

The interest to discover organic matter referred to the Tunnug burial mound in the Valley of the Kings, Republic of Tuva, where excavations started in summer 2018. 

First season showed that the vast burial site of nomadic warriors, often laid to rest with with their horses is in fact the oldest of all discovered, dating to the IX century BC.

Russian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from Siberia’s most ancient Scythian burial mound


Russian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from Siberia’s most ancient Scythian burial moundRussian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from Siberia’s most ancient Scythian burial mound


Russian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from Siberia’s most ancient Scythian burial mound


Russian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from Siberia’s most ancient Scythian burial mound


Russian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from Siberia’s most ancient Scythian burial mound


Russian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from Siberia’s most ancient Scythian burial mound
Excavation works at the Tunnug royal burial in the Valley of the Kings, Republic of Tuva. Picture: Alexey Mikhailov/RGS


Chances of fining preserved organic matter are very high indeed, as the burial is in the permafrost area. 

When the Russian-Swiss archeological expedition started to work in Tuva, a modern-day shaman had to be invited to by scientists to bless the work and to ensure the excavations ‘did not anger the spirits.’

Aerial view of the The Valley of the Kings in the Republic of Tuva. Pictures: Sergey Skudin

Russian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from Siberia’s most ancient Scythian burial mound


Russian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from Siberia’s most ancient Scythian burial mound


Russian Geographical Society hopes to obtain genetic material from Siberia’s most ancient Scythian burial mound

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Comments (4)

Scythan were a great civilisation...It is important to have the génétic hapolotypes to well know their storie, the possible exchange with other people. Thanks to share with us !
Jocelyne, FRANCE
23/04/2021 23:04
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0
Awesome and so cool !!!! I hope they do make some Scythian clones - I bet those warriors were healthy and strong. Forget 'artificial womb' like "Florent Pirot" said up there - there's no such thing, is there? If there was, why would people use surrogates. #1) find a brilliant young scientist who would carry AND RAISE that baby!! #2) healthy, young, strong female who would just be a surrogate and baby adopted by Dr.'s with history in child rearing, child development or something like that. Not just anybody. I would love to see a living Scythian, who would no doubt show the resemblance of many modern living Russians.
Rebecca Smith, Sweden
23/04/2021 02:26
1
1
I DON'T find shocking the idea of trying to take some cells and trying to make a foetus and a baby but without a woman (so with an artificial womb) only please. I doubt the experiment can succeed but maybe, there's a margin and why even care morally for the living being hereso created actually ?

I also would suggest that the bones should be returned to their graves, all of them and the site presented with closed glass protection instead of the old graves for tourism ? Interesting heritage worth a small museum all above to protect from the blizzard.
Florent Pirot, France, Valbonne
19/04/2021 08:14
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Seems like the skeletons want to tell some stories!
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
17/04/2021 14:53
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1
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