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  • L. L. Barkova


Site of barrows located 1600 m above sea-level on the upper reaches of the Biya River in the Gorno–Altay Mountains, on the border between Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. During the 1st millennium bc the high valleys of the Altay region were inhabited by nomads with large herds of cattle. Their barrows or burial mounds (6th–4th century bc) have produced a collection of c. 6000 artefacts now in the Hermitage, St Petersburg. Excavation of the Pazyryk burial was begun in 1929 by S. I. Rudenko and M. P. Gryaznov. Rudenko studied the remaining barrows in 1947–9 and in 1950 and 1954 excavated several more Central Altay barrows near the village of Tuekta and in Bashadar. All the barrows were frozen. Preserved in the permafrost of the tombs were items of wood, felt, leather, fur, silk and other organic materials. The mound was a stone construction, which prevented the frozen ground beneath from thawing: any rain-water penetrating the barrow changed to ice in the extreme winter conditions....

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