850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan

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The archaeological expedition of the Kazakh National University, which has been conducting excavations in the Eleke Sazy valley in East Kazakhstan sine 2016, has discovered a rich treasure consisting of ancient gold jewellery, the Kazakhstan Museum’s Information Center reports.

850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
Credit: Infocenter of the East Kazakhstan region, Tleubek Shayakhmet




During the archaeological season of 2020, archaeologists excavated several burial mounds. Despite the fact that many had had been looted in the past, a large number of gold harness fittings was found at one of the burial mounds.

850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
Credit: Infocenter of the East Kazakhstan region, Tleubek Shayakhmet




“The treasure was found not in the mound itself, but adjacent it,” says the head of the archaeological expedition, Abdis Tashkenovich. “This indicates that the chief’s grave was a place of worship for a long time after his death. People came to this sacred place and left gifts to the Aruakhs, the spirits of their ancestors.”

850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
Credit: Infocenter of the East Kazakhstan region, Tleubek Shayakhmet

The hoard contains gold and gilded elements of a horse harness in the form of deer, elks and griffins, pendants, thin chains and appliques made of thick sheet gold. Some of the fragments have carnelian inserts, and some are made with the granulation technique, whereby the surface is covered in spherules or granules.

850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
Credit: Infocenter of the East Kazakhstan region, Tleubek Shayakhmet




“The treasure belongs to the later Animal Style of the Scythian-Saka era and dates back to around the 5th-4th centuries BC. The central object is a mythological feline-like creature with large round ears, decorated with four bells, and is of a type never encountered before”, says Toleubaev.

850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
850 gold artefacts belonging to the Scythian-Saka era found in Kazakhstan
Credit: Infocenter of the East Kazakhstan region, Tleubek Shayakhmet

All 850 pieces were artfully designed and executed by the master metallurgists. Indeed, archaeologists have also found evidence of an ancient blacksmith forge some 165 feet away from the mound.

Source: YK News [trsl. TANN, September 03, 2020]

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