The rare grave of an injured female Amazon warrior has been discovered in the highlands of Armenia.
The Kingdom of Urartu flourished in Armenia from the 9th to the 6th centuries BC and this “uncommon developed culture”, according to a new paper, enjoyed comprehensive trading contact with the major empires of the ancient world between the Mediterranean and India, and rivaled them both culturally and in military prowess.
The Kingdom of Urartu, 9th–6th centuries BC. (Citypeek / CC BY-SA 3.0 )
In a new study published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology , a team of Armenian researchers, led by Dr. Anahit Khudaverdyan of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, reveals exciting new data about an Early Armenian period (8th-6th century BC) skeleton discovered in 2017 in the Bover I necropolis in Lori Province. And it is thought that the remains of this ancient woman are those of a legendary female Amazon warrior.
Myths Of The Pot Smoking, Man Hating, Amazon Warrior Women
According to a 2016 National Geographic article the Amazons fought as hard as male warriors, smoked pot, wore full body tattoos, rode horses , and severed their breasts to allow more accurate firing of their bows! And if you listen to (mostly male) modern scholars they were hard-core, man-hating, lesbian feminists who mutilated and killed their male children.
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Ancient Greek vase showing Amazon warrior riding a horse. (Bibi Saint-Pol / )
In reality, however, these myths were addressed by Adrienne Mayor , of Stanford University, in her book The Amazons , who, based on archaeological evidence, revealed the “truly wild” world of these ancient warrior women who were long held to be purely imaginary, mythical, warrior women. These born arch-enemies of the ancient Greeks were fought by every champion of literature from Hercules to Theseus and Achilles, who all had to prove their cunning by fighting a powerful warrior queen.
An Amazon Warrior was as Strong as a Man
And lot of scholars still argue that Amazons were merely fictional, but modern archaeological investigation, like presented in this new paper, has now proven without a doubt that there really were a band of fierce women fitting the Greek descriptions of Amazons.
The team of Armenian archaeologists studying the woman’s bones that were found in the Lori Province, said in their paper that she was in her 20s when she died and her jewelry indicated that she had been a “ high-status” female. Furthermore, the woman’s upper body muscle attachments were found to be as strong as a man, indicating to the scientists that she had undertaken considerable work activity, and this further indicated that she might have been a warrior.
Was the Amazon Warrior a Front-Line Archer?
The study shows that “the ancient woman’s pectoral and deltoid muscles had been flexed and adducted at the hand and at the shoulder”, suggesting she was a trained archer repeatedly drawing a bow string across her chest. And the researchers also noted well-developed pronounced gluteal muscles, which are most often associated with military activities, such as horse-riding.
The people of Urartu survived by hunting, military activity, and trading with surrounding nations. The paper says invaders such as the Scythians attempting to conquer the highlands faced serious problems when confronting the highly trained Urartian archers, and it might be the case that this ancient woman had served on the front-line defenses.
Amazon warrior preparing for a battle. (Matanya / CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Greek Myths About Amazon Warriors Manifest In Reality
When the woman’s body was inspected an “iron arrowhead” was discovered embedded in her left knee that had healed long before her death, and according to Dr. Khudaverdyan, this injury was made with “home-made weapons”. In addition to this injury, the woman’s left hip and right thigh bone “ chop marks ” and a “stab wound” was found in her left lower leg, and the fact that the woman suffered so many different kinds of cuts just before her death suggests she had died in battle.
The sheer number of injuries “emphasizes the fact that for this early Armenian female from Bover I, interpersonal violence was an ever-present aspect of life”, the archaeologists write. This burial from Bover I is one of the few examples of what the researchers say is “likely a female warrior ”, and Khudaverdyan and colleagues muse that “ her type ” may have inspired ancient Greek tales of “Amazon warriors”, those fierce warring women believed to have lived in the eastern part of the territory of Asia Minor near to modern-day Armenia.
The Amazon warrior queen, Thalestris, in the camp of Alexander the Great. (Botaurus / )
In conclusion, the researchers said, “It seems probable that there were indeed female warriors amongst the tribes of the Caucasus”, and that their ongoing discoveries suggest the subsistence of real women warriors “matching descriptions of Amazons in Greek myths ”.
Ancient girl Amazon warrior no older than 13 is confirmed by modern scientific techniques
Warrior’s grave found in 1988 was identified as male - yet now the 2,600-year-old teenager 'with wart on face’ is revealed to be female.
&lsquoIt was so stunning when we just opened the lid and I saw the face there, with that wart, looking so impressive.&rsquo Pictures: Vladimir Semyonov, M.O. Mashezerskaya
The 'stunning' discovery appears further confirmation of ancient Greek claims about female fighters known as Amazons among the Scythians of central Asia.
In 1988 Dr Marina Kilunovskaya and Dr Vladimir Semyonov came across the partially mummified young warrior&rsquos grave Saryg-Bulun in Siberia&rsquos modern-day Tuva republic during an emergency excavation.
The archeologists found the prepubescent warrior&rsquos remains so well preserved that a &lsquowart&rsquo was visible on the face, and yet at the time there were no indications that this was a female.
This Scythian child was buried with a complete set of weapons - an axe, a one-metre bow made of birch and a quiver with ten arrows some 70 centimetres in length. Picture: Vladimir Semyonov
&lsquoIt was so stunning when we just opened the lid and I saw the face there, with that wart, looking so impressive,&rsquo said Dr. Kilunovskaya.
There was a rough seam on the skin in the abdomen area, implying an attempt at artificial mummification - but no traces were found of trepanation, which was usual among such burials.
The age was estimated at 12-to-13 years yet - at the time - all the clues suggested this was a male.
She journeyed to the afterlife in a leather cap - the shape of which was thoroughly restored by prominent leather and fabric restorer Natalya Sinitsyna. Pictures: Vladimir Semyonov, Varvara Busova/Stratum plus, No 3, 2020
This Scythian child was buried with a complete set of weapons - an axe, a one-metre bow made of birch and a quiver with ten arrows some 70 centimetres in length.
The adolescent Amazon had a choice of arrows - two were wooden, one had a bone tip, and the arrowheads of the rest were bronze.
There were no beads, or mirrors, or other indications that this was the grave of a girl, and three decades ago the ancient remains were classified as a young male warrior.
Yet modern scientific advancements mean more detailed genetic tests are now available.
Amazon girl even had her battle axe. Picture: A.Yu. Makeeva/Stratum plus, No 3, 2020
'We were recently offered the chance to undertake tests to determine the sex, age, and genetic affiliation of the buried warrior,&rsquo said Dr Kilunovskaya.
&lsquoWe agreed with pleasure and got such a stunning result.&rsquo
The revealing palaeogenetic analysis was undertaken at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology at the Laboratory of Historical Genetics, Radiocarbon Analysis, and Applied Physics by Dr Kharis Mustafin, Dr Irina Alborova and postgraduate Alina Matsvai.
There were no beads, or mirrors, or other indications that this was the grave of a girl. Picture: Vladimir Semyonov
&lsquoThe burial of the child with weapons introduces a new touch to the social structure of early nomadic society,&rsquo said Dr Kilunovskaya, from the St Petersburg Institute of Material History Culture.
&lsquoThis discrepancy in the norms of the funeral rite received an unexpected explanation: firstly, the young man turned out to be a girl, and this young &lsquoAmazon&rsquo had not yet reached the age of 14 years.
&lsquoThe results of genome-wide sequencing, which showed that a girl was buried in a wooden coffin, were unexpected.
&lsquoThis opens up a new aspect in the study of the social history of Scythian society and involuntarily returns us to the myth of the Amazons that survived thanks to Herodotus.&rsquo
Amazon had quiver, made of leather and horse skin, attached to the belt. Pictures: A.Yu. Makeeva, Varvara Busova/Stratum plus, No 3, 2020
The girl warrior was buried in a below-the-knee double-breasted fur coat with long straight sleeves made from a rodent, a member of the jerboa family.
It was sewn in a patchwork.
She wore a shirt under the coat but it has not survived, and light brown and beige trousers or perhaps a skirt.
She journeyed to the afterlife in a leather cap - the shape of which was thoroughly restored by prominent leather and fabric restorer Natalya Sinitsyna.
A spiral ornament spanned the entire surface with red pigment, unevenly descending to one of the edges of the cap.
Metre-long bowl was made of single piece of birch. Picture: A.Yu. Makeeva/Stratum plus, No 3, 2020
The Amazon warrior is from the period 7 - early 6 centuries BC, with the current best assessment that she died around 2,600 years ago.
The depth of her coffin - hollowed from a single piece of wood - was little over half a metre under the ground, oriented to the southwest.
Aside from Herodotus, Greek physician Hippocrates - who lived approximately from 460 BC to 370 BC - noted female warriors among the Sarmatians, a Scythian grouping famed for their mastery of mounted warfare.
The adolescent Amazon had a choice of arrows - two were wooden, one had a bone tip, and the arrowheads of the rest were bronze. Pictures: A.Yu. Makeeva/Stratum plus, No 3, 2020
'Their women, so long as they are virgins, ride, shoot, throw the javelin while mounted, and fight with their enemies,' he wrote.
'They do not lay aside their virginity until they have killed three of their enemies, and they do not marry before they have performed the traditional sacred rites.
'A woman who takes to herself a husband no longer rides, unless she is compelled to do so by a general expedition.'
Amazon Warrior Discovered in Ancient Armenian Grave - History
Institute of Archaeology RAS The oldest woman found in the grave wore a calathos, which is a ceremonial headdress.
Archaeologists in Russia have uncovered the remains of four Amazon women of different ages buried in the same tomb. According to CNN, this is the first time in history that such a discovery has been made.
Published by the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a new study estimates one girl to have been between 12 and 13 years old when she died. The second was aged 20 to 29, the third was 25 to 35, and the fourth was 45 to 50.
The tomb itself was built from clay and oak blocks.
Items discovered at the burial site — iron arrowheads, a bird-shaped hook made of iron, horse harnesses, harness hooks, iron knives, animal bones, various vessels, and a broken, black vase — all helped researchers estimate the burial to have taken place during the 4th century B.C.
This suggests the warrior women were Scythians, who were ancient warriors living throughout Siberia between 200 and 900 B.C. Female Scythians, in turn, were Amazons — and the inspiration behind Wonder Woman.
The more magical elements, of course, have yet to be discovered.
Institute of Archaeology RAS The excavation took place at a cemetery called Devitsa V, which contains 19 burial mounds.
This remarkable find took place at a cemetery in the Voronezh region of Russia called Devitsa V. The site is comprised of 19 burial mounds, and has been studied since 2010. It took an entire decade, however, for the Don Archaeological Society of the RAS to excavate these specific remains.
“The Amazons are common Scythian phenomenon and during the last decade our expedition has discovered approximately 11 burials of young armed women,” said Valerii Guliaev, head of the expedition.
“Separate barrows were filled for them and all burial rites which were usually made for men were done for them.”
The ancient personal items of this stunning discovery carry with them priceless ancient information that clarifies just how these people lived, millennia ago. While the girl and one of the young woman’s graves were ravaged by robbers in ancient times, the other graves were left undisturbed.
One young woman was buried as a “horseman,” which meant her body underwent a rather macabre tradition that includes cutting the tendons in the legs. Underneath her left shoulder was a bronze mirror, two spears, and a glass bead bracelet along her left side and hand.
At her legs laid a one-armed drinking cup and a dish adorned with a black lacquer design.
Institute of Archaeology RAS In addition to the headdress, many other priceless artifacts were also found.
The average life expectancy for a Scythian woman was between 30 and 35, making the oldest woman’s age at the time of death impressive enough. The calathos, or ceremonial headdress adorned with floral ornamented plates and pendants, however, was just as surprising.
The jewelry she was buried with was 65 to 70 percent gold, with copper, silver, and iron comprising the rest. Scythian jewelry has previously been found to contain far less gold. She was also buried with an iron knife that was wrapped in fabric, and an iron arrowhead with a forked end.
The researchers explained that the headdress was shocking to find, as so few of them even survived the burial itself, not to mention the years before people dug them up. Archaeologists typically find mere fragments of these calathos, rather than entirely preserved ones.
Besides the intriguing, ancient objects found in the middle of Siberia, the fact that no one has ever found for Amazons buried in the same grave before makes this rather exciting. There’s no telling what researchers will find in the remaining mounds at Devitsa V.
After learning about the ancient Scythian Amazon warrior women being uncovered in Russia, read about the Slavic warrior woman buried with weaponry in a Danish Viking cemetery. Then, learn about the ancient warrior woman unearthed in Armenia who may have been an Amazon.
Mummified ‘Amazon warrior’ girl, 13, found buried with axe, bow and a ‘wart still visible on face’ after 2,600 years
The 2,600-year-old teenager is also said to have a visible wart and a range of war-like grave goods.
The grave was first discovered in 1988 in Siberia’s modern-day Tuva republic.
However, the mummified remains were labelled as female.
A new study used modern technique to reassess the discovery and found the body belonged to a young girl.
The researchers think this stunning discovery is further confirmation of a female warrior tribe, known as Amazons, living among the Scythians of central Asia.
The Amazons were a tribe mentioned in Greek mythology and numerous archeologists have worked to try and prove they existed.
According to the Siberian Times, researcher Dr. Kilunovskaya said: "It was so stunning when we just opened the lid and I saw the face there, with that wart, looking so impressive."
The girl is said to have a 'rough seam' on the skin of her abdomen, implying that mummification was attempted.
She was buried in a leather cap and next to a complete set of weapons.
These included an axe, a bow and a selection of arrows made of bronze, bone and wood.
The remains were initially identified as a boy because no beads or grave goods usually associated with a girl were found.
Today we have modern technology that can look at genetics rather than just items.
Dr Kilunovskaya said: "We were recently offered the chance to undertake tests to determine the sex, age, and genetic affiliation of the buried warrior.
"We agreed with pleasure and got such a stunning result."
These tests were conducted at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
Dr Kilunovskaya in the Siberian Times: "The burial of the child with weapons introduces a new touch to the social structure of early nomadic society.
"This discrepancy in the norms of the funeral rite received an unexpected explanation: firstly, the young man turned out to be a girl, and this young ‘Amazon’ had not yet reached the age of 14 years.
"The results of genome-wide sequencing, which showed that a girl was buried in a wooden coffin, were unexpected.
"This opens up a new aspect in the study of the social history of Scythian society and involuntarily returns us to the myth of the Amazons that survived thanks to Herodotus."
The suspected warrior girl was dressed in a long double-breasted fur coat when she died.
This was made of a fluffy rodent from the jerboa family and sewn in a patchwork pattern.
The researchers also think she was wearing a shirt and beige trousers or a skirt but a lot of evidence for this has decayed.
Her coffin was hollowed from a single piece of wood and she was only buried one metre underground.
Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about female warriors in his famous texts.
One example reads: "Their women, so long as they are virgins, ride, shoot, throw the javelin while mounted, and fight with their enemies.
"They do not lay aside their virginity until they have killed three of their enemies, and they do not marry before they have performed the traditional sacred rites.
"A woman who takes to herself a husband no longer rides, unless she is compelled to do so by a general expedition."
Amazon Warrior Discovered in Ancient Armenian Grave - History
The body of a warrior woman who may have inspired the Greek myth of the Amazons was found in Armenia. The woman from the iron age was between 20 and 29 years old, had several injuries, and was buried in a way that showed that she was a high-ranking member of her society.
The woman was from the Kingdom of Urartu that existed between 9 th to 6 th centuries B.C and overlapped with most of modern-day Armenia, Eastern Turkey and parts of northern Iran. The region had contact with what is now India and the Mediterranean and was known as a particularly violent part at that time.
Archaeologists who originally found the body argued that she was of high-status because of the jewelry that was found in her grave. She had wounds from two separate battles that had healed by the time of her death, including an arrow head that was stuck to the back of her femur.
She was also described as having bone that showed signs of stress from a heavy muscle structure, implying that she was used to strenuous activity.
The woman found in the Lori Province of modern-day Armenia in 2017. She is just one of four warrior women found in Caucasus from the same period. The other bodies were found in Tbilisi, the Terek River and in the Shirak region in Armenia.
One body found near the Terek River had armour and weapons buried with her body.
Anahit Khudaverdyan wrote an article about the woman for the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology . She argued: "the female warrior burials discovered in the Caucasus up to now have not yet been comprehensively explored.”
The archaeologists speculate that these women might have been what inspired the Greek myth of the Amazons. These woman were first reference in Homer's Iliad, written in the 8 th century, around the time this warrior woman would have lived.
The Amazons were a race of warrior women that were supposed to have lived in the outskirts of what the Greek's called the 'known world.' Strabo, a Greek geographer, said that these Amazons lived in what is referred to as the Caucasus today, a mountainous range that stretches from Northern Iran to the south of Russia.
Khudaverdyan added: "Early and ongoing discoveries do suggest the subsistence of real women warriors whose lives matched the descriptions of Amazons in Greek myths.
"In essence, the Greeks were not the only people to spin tales on Amazon-like warrior women ranging over the vast regions east of the Mediterranean.”
These woman may have used bows and arrows as their main weapon (Credit: National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia/ Anahit Khudaverdyan)
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Ancient Armenian Female Warrior Suffered Hatchet Wounds And Arrow Blow Before Death
More than 2,000 years ago, a young Armenian woman found herself at the forefront of a battle. Now, her newly unearthed remains are allowing archaeologists a window into how ancient societies lived and died on the battlefield.
Researchers excavated the poorly preserved remains in 2017 and found the woman buried on her side with flexed arms and legs and her head oriented to the northwest. Her skeleton was “fragmented and incomplete,” with cracks and fractures occurring on her bones in the thousands of years since her burial. An analysis of her dental wear, cranial sutures, and other indicators of trauma allowed for an understanding of the type of injuries she suffered just before her death.
A metal arrowhead was found buried in her femur likely shot by a bow, strongly suggesting that the woman was injured in some type of combat. Healing around the site of the arrowhead indicates that she lived for some time with the injury before dying, possibly from additional sword or hatchet blows to the pelvic bone, femur, and tibia in a “rich array of traumatic lesions.”
“During the combat, the woman had been most likely exposed to direct blows to the defensive shield (the power transmitted from the end of the shield to the ulna), or direct blows when the forearm was used to ward off the blow,” study author Anahit Khudaverdyan told IFLScience.
It was determined that the woman died aged between 20 and 29. Radiocarbon dating of the artifacts located in and around her grave indicate that she was likely a woman of stature.
“We know nothing about her social position, but the burial with rich inventory testifies to high status. Though the overall position of women was lower than men, yet, on the whole, the position of woman was good,” write the authors of the study published in International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, noting that upper-class women enjoyed freedom and were generally well-respected.
Red lines show the sites of other injuries. Anahit Khudaverdyan
During her time, the Kingdom of Urarti (Urartu), or Bianili, was an “uncommon developed culture” flourishing in the Armenian Highland from the 9 th century BCE to 585 BE. Strategically located between Europe and Asia, it is likely that the society had contacts with major empires of the ancient world. Defensive architecture suggests that the city likely experienced warfare and fear of assault. As soon as they passed eight or 10, boys rode on horseback and hunted deer, buffalo, and mountain goats in much the same way that they used for defensive purposes.
“For the people of the Armenian Highland, bows, and arrows turned into an efficient weapon to be used against the intruders, particularly when shot from horseback. Research shows that both men and women rode horseback while participating in battles and hunting. This is evidenced by female warrior graves discovered in many parts of the Caucasus,” wrote the authors.
Her remains are the second burial discovered in Armenia that provides evidence on female warriors. As Khudaverdyan notes, evidence suggests that Urartian kings fought with the enemy along with their wives, potentially serving as the “prototype of the Amazons,” the Greek myth of the tribe of warrior women that supposedly came from the Caucasus, which Armenia is part of.
Images show metal arrowhead embedded in the bone at wound site. Anahit Khudaverdyan
Tomb of Ancient Scythian 'Amazon' Woman with Ceremonial Headdress of Gold, Silver and Copper Discovered
Archaeologists have discovered the remains of an ancient Scythian Amazon woman, buried in an impressive headdress forged from precious metal.
The same tomb contained the remains of two young Scythian women aged between 20 to 29 years old and 25 to 35 years old, and those of a teenage girl aged between 12 to 13.
The discoveries were announced in a statement released by the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Archaeologists found the remains at a burial site at Cemetery Devitsa V in southwest Russia. The site consists of 19 partially covered mounds.
The women are female Scythians, nomads and warriors who came from the Eurasian steppe in what is now Southern Siberia&mdashbefore extending their influence throughout Central Asia, from China to the Black Sea.
The eldest of the four women is thought to have died when she was between 45 and 50 years old&mdashan impressive feat for a time when the average life expectancy is believed to have been around 30 to 35. Scythians appear to have had a higher risk of dying in early adulthood than those in other Iron Age groups as a result of their penchant for warfare.
The woman was found buried in a ceremonial headdress decorated in floral patterns, with a rim displaying amphora-shaped pendants. Testing shows the headdress is made from gold (65 to 70 percent) with copper, silver and a small fraction of iron making up the rest. According to the researchers, this is a high concentration of gold for Scythian culture.
Valerii Guliae, who headed the expedition, calls it a "unique" find. While fragments of headdresses have been found in the past, they are often damaged by the time they reach archaeologists.
One of the younger women was found in the position of a horseman, laid in a way so that the tendons of her legs were cut. She was found with a bronze mirror, a beaded bracelet, two spears and two vessels, including a one-handed cantharus&mdashan ancient Greek drinking cup. It was made of black lacquer and has been dated to the second quarter of the fourth century B.C.
The archaeologists unearthed a treasure trove of ancient goods alongside the burials, including an iron hook in the shape of a bird, fragments of a horse harness, including iron hooks for hanging harnesses, scraps of molded vessels, iron knives, animal bones and a collection of more than 30 iron arrowheads.
The team also discovered a robbers' passage at the north end of the burial site, which they say would have been burrowed a century or two after the tomb was built. Only the northern and eastern parts of the tomb&mdashwhere the teenager and one young woman are buried&mdashappear to have been targeted.
Guliaev said this is the first time a burial of Scythian women of all different ages has ever been found. "We have come across an enigma: we have two women in their prime of life, one is a teenager and another is a woman quite old for the Scythian epoch," he said in a statement. "It is not clear how they could die at the same moment. They do not have any traces of bones injuries . There are some marks of the tuberculosis and brucellosis, but these illnesses cannot cause death simultaneously. That is why we still cannot understand what the cause of death was and why four women of different age were buried at the same time."
The discovery also adds to our understanding of the female Scythians and the role they played in society.
Adrienne Mayor, a folklorist and historian of ancient science at Stanford University, previously told National Geographic, that approximately a third of Scythian women have been found buried with weapons, bearing war injuries. She calls the domestication of horses "the great equalizer" that allowed women to pick up a bow and arrow and fight&mdashand to be just as "fast and as deadly" as the men.
The Fertile Crescent is a term for an old fertile area north, east and west of the Arabian Desert in Southwest Asia. The Mesopotamian valley and the Nile valley fall under this term even though the mountain zone around Mesopotamia is the natural zone for the transition in a historical sense.
As a result of a number of unique geographical factors the Fertile Crescent have an impressive history of early human agricultural activity and culture. Besides the numerous archaeological sites with remains of skeletons and cultural relics the area is known primarily for its excavation sites linked to agricultural origins and development of the Neolithic era.
It was here, in the forested mountain slopes of the periphery of this area, that agriculture originated in an ecologically restricted environment. The western zone and areas around the upper Euphrates gave growth to the first known Neolithic farming communities with small, round houses , also referred to as Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) cultures, which dates to just after 10,000 BC and include areas such as Jericho, the world’s oldest city.
During the subsequent PPNB from 9000 BC these communities developed into larger villages with farming and animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood, with settlement in the two-story, rectangular house. Man now entered in symbiosis with grain and livestock species, with no opportunity to return to hunter – gatherer societies.
The area west and north of the plains of the Euphrates and Tigris also saw the emergence of early complex societies in the much later Bronze Age (about 4000 BC). There is evidence of written culture and early state formation in this northern steppe area, although the written formation of the states relatively quickly shifted its center of gravity into the Mesopotamian valley and developed there. The area is therefore in very many writers been named “The Cradle of Civilization.”
The area has experienced a series of upheavals and new formation of states. When Turkey was formed in the aftermath of the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians perpetrated by the Young Turks during the First World War it is estimated that two-thirds to three-quarters of all Armenians and Assyrians in the region died, and the Pontic Greeks was pushed to Greece.
Israel was created out of the Ottoman Empire and the conquering of the Palestinian terretories. The existence of large Arab nation states from the Maghreb to the Levant has since represented a potential threat to Israel which should be neutralised when opportunities arise.
This line of thinking was at the heart of David Ben Gurion’s policies in the 1950s which sought to exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims in the Lebanon for the fruits of acquiring regional influence by the dismembering the country and the possible acquisition of additional territory.
The Christians are now being systematically targeted for genocide in Syria according to Vatican and other sources with contacts on the ground among the besieged Christian community.
According to reports by the Vatican’s Fides News Agency collected by the Centre for the Study of Interventionism, the US-backed Free Syrian Army rebels and ever more radical spin-off factions are sacking Christian churches, shooting Christians dead in the street, broadcasting ultimatums that all Christians must be cleansed from the rebel-held villages, and even shooting priests.
It is now time that the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians is being recognized, that the Israeli occupation, settlements and violence against the Palestinians stop, and that the various minorities in the area start to live their lifes in peace – without violence and threats from majority populations, or from the West, and then specificially from the US.
Discovery of hidden 3,500 year old warrior grave stuffed with treasure could re-write ancient Greek history
The warrior was buried some distance from the ancient palace of Pylos, but the riches that went with him reveal that he lived like royalty.
For over 3,500 years, his skeleton was kept company underground by, among other things, solid gold rings, intricately-built swords, fine-toothed ivory combs and more than a thousand precious stone beads. Unlike most of his brethren of that era, his dinnerware was made not from the more humble ceramic, but rather with bronze.
This is a bounty made all the more improbable by the fact that it appears to have belonged to just one person. Whereas ancient burial grounds were customarily shared, this warrior had a tomb all to himself.
The Greek Culture Ministry announced on Monday that this shaft tomb and its concomitant treasures have been unearthed in southwestern Greece by archaeologists from the University of Cincinnati. The team led by Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis, a husband and wife, started excavating the site mid-May and just finished removing the bones from the tomb last Tuesday.
The ministry called the treasure “the most important to have been discovered [in continental Greece] in 65 years.” The find occurred in the first season of a five-year project in the area surrounding the Nestor palace of ancient Pylos (modern-day Chora, Messinia), a destination immortalized in Homer’s “Odyssey.”
“We never could have imagined the extent of the wealth that was contained in the particular grave,” Stocker told The Washington Post, recounting that she and Davis had many doubts about what they would discover when they first noticed what appeared to be exposed wall stones.
To find a grave there was already unlikely to find an unlooted grave, a grave with its artifacts intact, was a rare and historic feat.
The husband-and-wife archaeology team of Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis at a wealthy Ancient Greek warrior's tomb. (University of Cincinnati) The husband-and-wife archaeology team of Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis at a wealthy Ancient Greek warrior’s tomb. (University of Cincinnati)
The site has a history of serendipity for University of Cincinnati archaeologists, for it was near there that Carl Blegen first located the Pylos palace in 1939. In the early 1950s, he excavated a number of tombs, including a large beehive tomb situated next to the one that has just been found.
The archaeologists are currently uncertain of the identity of the man found buried in it, but they believe he was likely a warrior-priest who might have acquired the goods in distant raids. The Minoan style iconography on some of the seal stones, small gems used as amulets, suggests that he may have been a religious figure, but he was also buried with martial objects like swords and daggers.
Stocker pointed out that one of the daggers, overlain in fine gold, appears to be more ceremonial. And while most warrior graves include a large group of arrowheads, these were absent here.
“One of the most surprising things was the sheer quantity of seal stones,” she said. “Usually with burials you find four or five, sometimes ten or as high as 20, but this burial had around 50 seal stones, which are incredibly artistic objects and presumably extremely valuable.”
The stones are made of carnelian, amethyst, jasper, agate and gold. By comparing the artifacts with objects in tombs that have been securely dated through their pottery, the archaeologists have concluded that the warrior was buried around 1500 B.C, at the dawn of European civilization.
The artefacts are currently being kept at the Archaeological Museum of Chora, where they await conservation procedures. One question that the research team will examine is: how did a man from Pylos acquire these objects?
Many of them appear to have either been obtained in Crete or from an itinerant Cretan merchant. Once they are analyzed for composition, Stocker said, the archaeologists may be able to gain new understandings of the vast trade networks they suspect existed between the ancient civilizations.
The amethyst beads could have been imported from the Middle East, while amber originates from the Baltics.
In the view of James C. Wright, the director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the grave lies “at the date at the heart of the relationship of the mainland culture to the higher culture of Crete,” according to the New York Times.
But trade is just one possibility, as are raids. Another possibility is marriage: the warrior might have married into a Cretan dynasty, or perhaps even founded a new dynasty himself. The latter would mean that he likely arrived in Pylos with a group of people and conquered the town’s existing inhabitants, which would explain why he wasn’t buried with anyone else — either he was a very important person in the known palatial society, or part of a separate community altogether.
The warriors’ entombed treasures also point to a possible revelation about Pylos’s status in ancient Greece. Prior to this discovery, Stocker said, such great wealth hadn’t been discovered anywhere besides Mycenae, an archaeological site outside of Athens. Pylos has generally been considered a marginal locale, but this new find indicates that lavish riches existed there as well.
“On some level it means that we need to rethink a lot of the history we have written,” Stocker said. “This is the only ancient grave found of this wealth in Greece belonging to only one person.”
Stocker noted that while graves with more ample riches have been uncovered in Mycenae, those contained multiple corpses, making the distribution of wealth across the individuals difficult to discern.
The team’s physical anthropologist will study the bones of the skeleton to formulate a picture of who the warrior was, using DNA analysis and other methods to determine his cause of death and stature. Luckily, Stocker said, their subject has “extremely well-preserved teeth.”