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Archeologists find ancient mummy approximately 1,500 years old in Mongolia

By Anna Liesowska
09 April 2016

Remains of suspected female of Turkik origin found in at an altitude of 2,803 metres in the Altai Mountains.

'The finds show us that these people were very skilled craftsmen.' Picture: Khovd Museum

The ancient human remains are wrapped in felt but the excavation is being hailed as the first complete Turkik burial found in Central Asia. B.Sukhbaatar, researcher at Khovd Museum, said: 'This person was not from elite, and we believe it was likely a woman, because there is no bow in the tomb. 

'Now we are carefully unwrapping the body and once this is complete the specialists will be able to say more precisely about the gender.'

In the mummy's grave archeologists found - alongside the human remains - a saddle, bridle, clay vase, wooden bowl, trough, iron kettle, the remains of entire horse, and four different 'Dool' (Mongolian clothes).



'Now we are carefully unwrapping the body and the specialists could say more precisely about the gender.' Pictures: Khovd Museum

There were also pillows, a sheep's head and felt travel bag in which were placed the whole back of a sheep, goat bones and small leather bag for the cup.

He said: 'It is the first complete Turkik burial at least in Mongolia - and probably in all Central Asia. This is a very rare phenomenon. These finds show us the beliefs and rituals of Turkiks. 

'We can see clearly that the horse was deliberately sacrificed. It was a mare, between four and eight years old. Four coats we found were made of cotton.  



Elaboated embroidery on the bag and a saddle - all very good preserved. Picture: Khovd Museum

'An interesting thing we found is that not only sheep wool was used, but also camel wool. We can date the burial by the things we have found there, also the type of hat. It gives us a preliminary date of around the 6th century AD.'

Archeologists from the city museum in Khovd were alerted to the burial site by local herdsmen. The finds will help form a deeper understanding of the native Turks in ancient Mongolia. 

bag ropes


In the mummy's grave archeologists found - alongside the human remains - a saddle, bridle, clay vase, wooden bowl, trough, iron kettle, the remains of entire horse, and four different 'Dool' (Mongolian clothes). Pictures: Khovd Museum

'The grave was located 2803 meters above sea level,' said B.Sukhbaatar. 'This fact and the cool temperatures helped to preserve the grave. The grave was three metres deep.

'The finds show us that these people were very skilled craftsmen. Given that this was the grave of a simple person, we understand that craft skills were rather well developed.'

The Altai Mountains unite Siberia, in Russia, and Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. 

The grave was located 2803 meters above sea level, in Mongolian Altai. Pictures: The Siberian Times



Comments (41)

As a nomad I really find it interesting, over 1 month I am travelling back to the Altaj mountains not the city in China where I am now, I already have explored China and after my home place I go travel at the Yakutians.
TurkoNomad, Altay,Xinjiang,China
13/04/2016 22:51
The items are so well made you could pop the bit in and go for a ride, lovely decorative possessions, feel like her life was really purposeful and full of meaning.
Tanya Kepic, Fremantle Australia
13/04/2016 21:04
I would love to reconstruct the felted travellbag. It is so beautiful.

For this I would need to know a little more details.

Is the front material linnen, silk or cotton?

I`m lookig forward to more information.
Stefanie Lemke, Germany
13/04/2016 18:06
Mongols are Turks .
Genghis khan Turk, Turkey
13/04/2016 11:23
An amazing embroidery from 1500 years ago without any machines, it is just amazing, These were very high skilled people.
Ahmed, Turkiye
13/04/2016 00:51
Very impressive clothes and accoutrments. I found the saddlery of particular interest, the use of stirrups and the snaffle bit made of twised bronze wire. There are similar styles of bit used today. I would like to see a better view of the saddlery. Most impressive race of people.
Gordon Hazel, Gidgegannup Western Australia
12/04/2016 22:21
Marvelous! And I can tell you one thing: That broad, flat wooden bowl in the last photo looks to me to almost certainly be a dough trough. You need a good, solid surface to work dough so that it rises; that particular shape/size is very nearly universal-- I have one myself, and I've seen them in several countries that basically look alike (flat, shallow, with an elongated rounded inner surface for pushing the dough across and folding it back.) The act of kneading shapes the utensil required.
Ysabet, Tucson, Arizona, USA
12/04/2016 10:02
The embroidery is beautiful!
Tricia Len, United States
12/04/2016 03:31
LinkinPark, Mongolia
11/04/2016 17:12
This is an amazing discovery and the contents say so much about the daily life from that time and place. If this is the extent of grave goods for a common [ non-elite ] female... what amazing artifacts would a grave from a high ranking person from that culture contain and thus, tell us? It is amazing that the grave was not pillaged once it was discovered... bravo to the local herdsman who discovered and reported it ...untouched. I look forward to more information and discoveries from this amazingly rich part of the world.
Byronic, Kelowna, Canada
11/04/2016 00:20
The horse bit is really, really nice and is expertly made, Just Exquisite. The braided roping is one of the best I have ever saw too.
Horsesrunwild, USA/USA
10/04/2016 06:05

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