Ural Federal University: Scientists Opened Medieval Graves and Found a Collection of Artifacts

Archaeologists from different regions of Russia conducted excavations on the territory of the Priural district of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area and uncovered burials from the Middle Ages, reports Moskovsky Komsomolets-Yamal and the Scientific Center for Arctic Studies of Salekhard. Under the leadership of a researcher of the History and Archaeology Sector of the Scientific Center for Arctic Studies, Alexander Gusev, scientists from Tomsk, Ekaterinburg and Syktyvkar conducted research on the Nyurymposllor 2 burial ground in the Pre-Ural region. The monument is located 30 km southeast of Salekhard and was discovered last year during archaeological reconnaissance.

“This year, archaeologists opened the area of the excavation 81 “squares” and examined six burials, tentatively dated to the Middle Ages (16-17 century AD). The burials were not plundered by either ancient robbers or modern ones, and the burial ground was untouched. Both child and adult burials have been studied. A large collection of artifacts, including silver and gold-plated items and ornaments, has been collected. Silver earrings with gold-plated twisted wire were found in a children’s (teenage) grave. It is a rare find”, scientists told.

Parts of a silver plaque were found in the adult burial, fragments were spread over various parts of the body, including the head. An interesting feature of the burial rites at this burial site is that in the adult burials the hands of the dead were placed behind the back, under the pelvis. Traditionally, the hands of the buried were placed along the body or on the abdomen, and this is the first time scientists have encountered such a position.

Olga Nekrasova, a researcher of the Ural Federal University, took soil samples. According to the paleontologist’s preliminary assessment, the grave embankment was made by human hands. Currently there are no such necropolises on the territory of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, so the monument can be considered unique, archaeologists noted. In addition, samples were taken for paleoparasitological studies, which are conducted in the Tyumen Scientific Center of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Archaeological collection gathered at the monument will be cameral processed and transferred for permanent storage to Shemanovsky Exhibition Center in Salekhard. Anthropological remains will be transferred to Ekaterinburg for further research and storage.

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