Siberian William Tell

Digs & Discoveries March/April 2017

(Courtesy Nikita Konstantinov)

In the Siberian Altai region, two local residents recently discovered the burial of a medieval man in a cliff-face crevice. They reported the find to local museum officials and turned over a number of artifacts interred with the man, including an intricately decorated birch-bark quiver and iron-tipped arrows, which are now being studied and conserved by a team led by archaeologist Nikita Konstantinov of Gorno-Altaisk State University. Konstantinov believes that the archer lived sometime between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, a period when the Mongolian Empire’s Golden Horde ruled the area. “Here in the Altai we have very few sites dating to this era,” says Konstantinov. “This burial is well preserved, so it should help us to better understand the Mongolian period.” His team will fully investigate the site during the upcoming field season.

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