Archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a 1,000-year-old war lord’s child buried inside a bronze bowl in the Arctic Circle. Remains of the skull of this ancient polar potentate’s heir were discovered buried inside a rare and valuable bronze bowl originating some 3,750 miles to the south in Persia.
The infant born around 1,000 years ago was wrapped in fur or animal skins, alongside an engraved knife as protection in the next life.
Experts say the find of the turquoise-coloured Persian bronze bowl is unique in this inhospitable Siberian region. It indicates the child belonged to a wealthy chieftain waging cold wars on the icy Gydan peninsula, some 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle, close to the Kara Sea.
Archaeologist Andrey Gusev, researcher at the Arctic Research Centre, Salekhard, said: “We can definitely say that this child was not ordinary. “He or she was from some wealthy family, judging what was laid in the grave. “The parents could afford expensive things, especially the bowl – it was imported.”
A small temple ring was found in the tomb which was exposed by wind erosion caused by a warming climate leading to the thawing of permafrost soil. The knife’s handle and sheath are elaborately decorated in a zoomorphic pattern, reported The Siberian Times.
Before further scientific analysis of the skull, the ethnic origins of these people remain unknown. The child was no more than three years old when he or she died.
The eye-catching bowl fragments originate from the territory of modern-day Iran, said Gusev. It was lain in the ground upside down and placed to cover the infant’s head.
Archaeologists say it is likely central Asian traders brought Persian goods to northern Siberia to exchange for walrus tusks, hunting birds and fur.