Russia: Barrows, Ziggurats / KURGAN ARZHAN

PHOTO: eldonchik 52 2'31.39" 9336'6.38"

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The study of the burial mound Arzhan-2 is a result of joint investigation, conducted by the Central Asian expedition of the State Hermitage and the Eurasian Department of the German archaeological Institute. The site is situated in the mountainous and steppe Uyuk hollow, in the northern part of the Republic of Tyva. Here the outstanding burial mounds are concentrated, some of them of especially large size. In the early 1970-s one of the largest ones – namely Arzhan – was investigated by the expedition headed by M.P. Gryaznov. The kurgan was heavily robbed, but the materials obtained raised heated debates among specialists, which are still in progress. It is not strange because the main problem – the dating of the complex either to the boundary of IX-VIII centuries BC, or to the later time – has a key significance for the early iron age archaeology of the Eurasian steppe. The problem solution enables a new consideration of the role of Tuva and Central Asia on the whole in Scythian type cultures genesis.



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