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Meet a lifelike 1700 year old Hun warrior with his bow and ‘whistling arrows’

By The Siberian Times reporter
12 June 2018

Mummified archer turns up in remote museum after locals refused to hand him over to the Hermitage in St Petersburg.

'Keep this head, do not give it to anybody, and one day your museum will be famous'. Picture: Kokorya Museum

The ancient warrior was buried in fur and lay on a wooden ‘bed’ in his burial chamber at a remote Altai Mountains site near the modern day village of Kokorya, some 314 kilometres south of regional capital Gorno-Altaisk. Next to the warrior was placed his weaponry.

His bow in its heyday was some two metres in length; alongside its remnants were half a dozen well-preserved arrow shafts made of birch. 

They were painted in black and white - so he knew which one to pull from the fur-lined quiver for each prey.

The arrows originally had iron tips.

Meet a lifelike 2000 year old Hun warrior with his bow and ‘whistling arrows’
Eminent scientist Boris Kadikov from the Hermitage arrived too; he and a local researcher spent three days with the find. Picture: Kokorya Museum


A hollow whistle made of bull horn fixed on the arrow shaft, which also had an iron quiver hook. The whistling was produced not from the tip but the horn-made coupling between the tip and the shaft, say experts. The fearsome noise was supposedly used by warriors to scare the enemy. 

Hun hunters deployed these weapons to confuse their prey forcing them into the open, when they could be shot with other arrows. 

Deer would stop when they heard the whistling, making them easy targets. 

Alena Kypchakova


Alena Kypchakova as a child

Alena Kypchakova, the musum keeper. Alena, in the middle, pictured as a child. Pictures: Alena Kypchakova

Squirrels jumped lower in their branches becoming more exposed, or leapt between trees - so going into the open. 

Archeologist Dr Alexander Ebel, from Gorno-Altaisk State University, conducted an experiment to make a copy of the arrow whistle.

It didn’t work. 

Yet a study by Novosibirsk archeologist Yury Khudyakov suggests these arrows did whistle, a phenomenon described in ancient Chinese literature. 

Meet a lifelike 2000 year old Hun warrior with his bow and ‘whistling arrows’


Meet a lifelike 2000 year old Hun warrior with his bow and ‘whistling arrows’
The Hun warrior mummy, his bow and arrows. Pictures: Kokorya Museum


The mummified warrior was unearthed in 1993 at the remote at Kam-Tytugem settlement.

Alena Kypchakova, then 12, stumbled across the remains when she was set to work haymaking. 

She has since taken over from her father running the local museum in Kokorya. 

‘I saw a pile of stones,’ she recalled. ’It turned out that the grotto had collapsed. I found a hole between the stones, a way to get inside - and there was a grave. 

‘I don’t remember it too well, but I know I was not scared.'

Meet a lifelike 2000 year old Hun warrior with his bow and ‘whistling arrows’


Meet a lifelike 2000 year old Hun warrior with his bow and ‘whistling arrows’
Hello from 2,000 years ago. Pictures: Kokorya Museum


A local historian came and inspected the find. 

Before long eminent scientist Boris Kadikov from the Hermitage arrived too; he and a researcher spent three days with the find. 

Attempts to persuade her father to surrender the find to faraway museums - notably the Hermitage - all failed. 

'I remember Boris Kadikov told my father: 'Keep this head, do not give it to anybody, and one day your museum will be famous.’

This moment has come. 

The area where the mummified head was found. Picture: Sailuyugem Nature Park

Kokorya village area

Comments (3)

波斯东打中亚,西征希腊、埃及;匈奴东平东胡,西击月氏,西迁直打到西欧。人类早期历史洲际大帝国的开山祖师爷呀!
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
17/06/2018 16:13
0
0
This was especially interesting to me since I was told my paternal grandfather was a "hun". I understand this is 1,700 years old but it remains exciting to think he could have been an ancestor. I notice he seems to be not too young when he died. He has all of his teeth and his skin seems somewhat smooth without many wrinkles. I wish a sample of his DNA could be placed into the Ancestry database of Eastern European just to see if there are any hits. The arrows are remarkable for their excellent construction. I am not a scientist so some of the things I suggest maybe amusing to those who know better. I am truly intrigued by this.
Bill Michael (Chcouske), Elizabethtown, KY USA
17/06/2018 14:02
2
0
Interesting topic, Hun was famous warrior
Jocelyne, FRANCE
13/06/2018 22:49
6
0
1

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