Warriors, craftsman, shamans

Mysterious Scythians. So the ancient Greeks and Persians called this people. In their kibitkas they done tens of thousands of kilometers. They loved freedom and did not submit to any enemy. They left behind a distinctive nomadic culture. Ancient mounds in the territory of East Kazakhstan are gradually open a veil of their secrecy. These are the famous Berel mounds, located in the Katon-Karagai region of East Kazakhstan. It was here that the Saks have buried their leaders. The first who visited here was the Russian scientist Vasily Radlov.

He began excavations back in 1984. There are more than one hundred barrows in the valley. More than 30 of them have been examined in this region. In 1998 the world had spread sensation for world science. The large-scale expedition was led by Kazakhstani archaeologist Zeynolla Samashev. Scientists from several countries are fortunate to find not plundered burial.

Archaeologists saw objects that are more than 3 thousand years old. In Kurgan, were found 13 horses of bay color. The Saks worshiped fire, and the suit symbolized precisely this element. The horses were killed with an ax in the head. The horns on the heads symbolized argali. It was these animals that were supposed to take the deceased leader to heaven. In the grave lay the bodies of an elderly woman and a young man. Genetics have established that it was the leader and his mother. The woman was buried much later than her son.

The Saks are the eastern Scythians. Herodotus called them “guarding vultures”. Some of them live a nomadic way of life, while others lived in settled communities. The faces have European and Asian features.

The Saks had skilled craftsmen, potters and jewelers. Gold jewelry is made in animal style. These are running leopards, deer, moose. Scientists believe each tribe had its own animal totem. Griffin was considered a connection between two worlds - of the Living and the Dead. Figures of this fabulous creature are most often found in royal tombs.

The funeral rites of the Saks and the ancient Egyptians are much similar. A special pillow was laid under the head of a deceased. The Saks have made it of larch, the Egyptians - of marble. 
The Saks also knew the art of embalming. Farewell to the deceased lasted up to 40 days. The body was showing all the tribes for farewell.

Above the mound must be constructed a pyramid. The stones were tiled. Water fell through the gutters into the grave and formed permafrost that preserves the kurgans. Everything was preserved so well that there was fresh grass in the stomachs of the horses. 

Archaeologists are gradually opening the veil of secrecy from this ancient people. You can learn more about the life of the Saks at the Berel Museum.

You will be amazed by this nomadic civilization.

Dmitry Kryukovich
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