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Remains of 2,000-year-old 'barbarian woman' with Roman jewellery found in Russia


The remains of an ancient 'barbarian woman' thought to be almost 2,000 years old have been found bedecked in fine jewellery from the Roman Empire.

Remains of 2,000-year-old 'barbarian woman' with Roman jewellery found in Russia
Zayukovo burial site excavated [Credit: Joint North Caucasian Archaeological
Expedition of the State Historical Museum, KBSU & IA RAS]
She was found in Russia and is thought to have been of a 'high-status' within her community - possibly the wife, sister or mother of a prominent warrior or chieftain.


Her remains, found in a tomb in the mountainous Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, have surprised archaeologists, in part due to the fact the jewelry was of Roman origin.

The ancient woman is probably from the Alans warrior people who made incursions into the Caucasus in the first and second centuries AD. Archaeologists say she was buried alongside a warrior and two other men

Remains of 2,000-year-old 'barbarian woman' with Roman jewellery found in Russia
Twisted glass ring [Credit: Joint North Caucasian Archaeological Expedition
of the State Historical Museum, KBSU & IA RAS]
"She had two rings on her fingers manufactured with the use of quite a complex technology," said archaeologist Anna Kadieva, head of an expedition at Zayukovo-2 burial site.

Ms Kadieva said the fact the jewellery was Roman-made is "beyond any doubt".

She added: "It is quite expensive for the time, and priceless for the barbarian world because there was no glass production in the North Caucasus back then."

Remains of 2,000-year-old 'barbarian woman' with Roman jewellery found in Russia
Amethyst medallion in gold setting [Credit: Joint North Caucasian Archaeological
Expedition of the State Historical Museum, KBSU & IA RAS]
The beads on her shoes were made of glass but also contained an orange-colored mineral called carnelian that is part of the Quartz family.


She also wore two rings on her fingers manufactured with the use of quite a complex technology. Each of them was cast from transparent white glass with golden fibers from the same material, with a dark glass installation in the middle, as seen in this image

The woman was also discovered wearing a bright violet amethyst medallion. The team say this would have been "priceless" for the region as they had no glass blowing technology at the time

Remains of 2,000-year-old 'barbarian woman' with Roman jewellery found in Russia
Roman beads found in Alan woman's grave [Credit: Joint North Caucasian Archaeological
Expedition of the State Historical Museum, KBSU & IA RAS]
"This is a high class gem worthy of its gold casing," said the archaeologist from the State Historical Museum of Russia.

The woman was possibly the wife of a renowned warrior or tribal chief. The team are examining her remains and others at the Zayukovo-2 burial site in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria


She had been buried with a warrior and two other males. Archaeologists are not sure how they died but found they had at a similar time

Remains of 2,000-year-old 'barbarian woman' with Roman jewellery found in Russia
Excavation of the tomb [Credit: Joint North Caucasian Archaeological
Expedition of the State Historical Museum, KBSU & IA RAS]
"We came to the conclusion that wealthy warriors from North Caucasus presented expensive jewellery to their loved ones," Ms Kadieva said.

"The woman most likely was a close relative of the warriors - mother, wife, or sister - because the catacomb is a family burial. It is not clear how they died, but given the integrity of the skeletons, the time between their deaths was short," she said.

Further studies are being made into the finds.

Author: Will Stewart | Source: Daily Mail [November 10, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

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