A team of researchers led by Valerii Guliaev, the head of the Don expedition has discovered a burial mound containing remnants of four Scythian women. Interestingly, the burial mound had several impressive grave goods, and it included one of the most complete golden headdresses ever unearthed in the Don excavation site, Russia.
Even though expeditions are being carried out in this area since 2010, this is for the first time that such a special headdress gets unearthed from this site. In the newly discovered barrow, four women of different ages were buried, and it includes two young women of 20-29 years old and 25-35 years old, a teenage girl of 12-13 years old and a middle-aged woman of 45-50 years old.
Guilaev announced details of this finding at the session of the Academic Council of IA RAS on Dec. 6, 2019. "Such headdresses have been found a bit more than two dozen and they all were in 'tzar' or not very rich barrows of the steppe zone of Scythia. We first found such headdress in the barrows of the forest-steppe zone and what is more interesting the headdress was first found in the burial of an Amazon," said Guilaev, in a recent statement.
Mysterious female tomb
Experts believe that the burial might have occurred at the same time, as one of the piles that supported the floor of the tomb was in the dromos and it literally covered the entrance which made it pretty difficult to enter.
It should be noted that this burial was looted multiple times in the ancient past. Experts suggest that only the northern and eastern parts of the tomb were robbed where the remains of the teenager and younger women were found.
Multiple grave goods discovered
Apart from the golden headdress, archaeologists also discovered multiple grave goods that include iron arrowheads, a strange iron hook in the shape of a bird, fragments of horse harnesses, iron knives, fragments of molded vessels and multiple animal bones.
Researchers also discovered two untouched skeletons laid on the wooden beds covered by grass beddings at the southern and western wall of the tomb. Shockingly, one of these skeletons belonged to a young woman who was buried in the position of a horseman.
Analysis done on the headdress revealed that this jewelry was made from an alloy, which is 70 percent gold, and the remaining percent copper. "Found calathos is a unique find. This is the first headdress in the sites of Scythian epoch found on Middle Don and it was found in situ on the location on the skull," said Guilaev.
Along with it, an iron knife was laid wrapped into a piece of fabrique and an iron arrow head of quite a rare type, tanged with forked end were also found. These finds suggest that the Amazons, women-warriors whose institution was in the Scythian epoch among Iranian nomadic and semi nomadic tribes of Eastern Europe, were buried in this barrow. Such horse women probably were cattle, belonging and dwelling guardians while the men went to long-term warpaths.