Saka burials were found near Astana. In the upper layer of the Khan’s burial mound, archaeologists discovered seven burials and jewellery. Researchers said the findings are 2500 years old. However, the archaeologists will determine the accurate date of the items. The excavations were conducted by Gumilyov Eurasian National University as part of the Yesil archaeological expedition. The existence of the ancient burial places was known back in 1999. However, the excavations began only three weeks ago and have revealed the secrets of the past.
MARAL KHABDULINA, DIRECTOR, ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE:
- Seven people were buried in the mound. Bodies of the deceased people faced towards the direction of north-west according to the Islamic rite. Skeletons were cleaned and cleared.
Fragments of the findings were sent to Italy and Almaty for anthropological analysis/ The DNA samples will be studied by scientists. The archaeologists imply that the buried people were women due to the jewellery found in two of the mounds.
AKERKE GAISA, STUDENT:
- Bones that were found belong to a woman. A bronze engagement ring was found on her finger of the right hand. This product is made of bone. We have not determined yet what it was intended for. Also, we found female earrings. They are made of bronze, too. This fragment is most likely from the waist which was found in a man's burial.
The Khan’s mound is four meters high and its diameter is estimated at 60 meters. Granite slabs for its construction were delivered from banks of the Nura River. Scientists highlight that burials can also be found in other layers.
BAKYTZHAN AKTAILAK, HISTORIAN, GUMILYOV EURASIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY:
- During excavations, it is clear that there is something. Based on the surface of the ground, it is possible to determine what can be found there: a bone of a person or animal or jewellery.
The Khan’s mound has been included in the list of holy places of the Akmola region.
ASKAR KALYBAYEV, SENIOR STAFF, DEPARTMENT FOR CULTURE AND SPORTS OF ASTANA:
- As part of the Modernization of Kazakhstan’s Identity program, nearly 20 monuments of historical and cultural heritage on the capital’s territory have been included into the Holy Sites of Astana map.
The team of archaeologists is working even at night in order to speed up the research. According to them, such historical monuments will open more secrets of the Saka period.