Deep in the Caucasus mountains a warrior‘s grave was opened which gave a glimpse into the past to a time when the Greek culture was at its height. Though these were not Greeks, but a group of peoples whose culture was just as rich in which these treasures were found. While the people were clearly influenced by Greek culture, they maintained their own way of life and their own sense of identity . It can be seen that these people kept a culture that was uniquely their own for centuries.
This warrior which was buried here was of high stature with his people. Buried along with him were found the skeletons of three horses, a cow and the skull of a wild boar buried near him. In the ancient world among barbarian peoples these animals were highly prized, which indicated that he was a greatly honored, a revered man among those who followed him. Finding these animals also suggests that a feast was held to celebrate his death according to one of the researchers.
Valentina Mordvintseva, who was one of the Archaeologists that made this find expressed, “without written records it is difficult to say exactly who the warrior was, but rather than ruling a city or town, “he was rather a chief of a people,”
Spectacular Gold treasures
This venerated warrior’s burial included more than a dozen artifacts made of gold. The most spectacular find was a gold fibula-brooch with a rock crystal at its center. This small brooch was only 2.3 by 1.9 inches (5.8 by 4.8 centimeters), with several layers of intricately carved decorations leading toward the mounted crystal. What was truly amazing that “Inside this mount a rock-crystal bead has been placed with a channel drilled through it from both ends,” commented one of the team members.
The team was surprised to find that two of the warrior’s swords (including the one pointing towards his pelvis) had decorations which were meant to be attached. The short 19 inch (48.5-cm) – long iron sword had a gold plate, with inlay-ed agate, that was meant to adorn its sheath. Until now, scholars had never seen this type of god sword decorations in this part of the ancient world was commented by one of the researchers. Also commented was the fact that these articles were used to decorate weapons sets them apart into a category all of their own, which has so far not been recorded anywhere else.
Who used the necropolis?
Based on the artifacts, researchers believe the warrior’s burial dates back around 2,200 years, to a time when Greek culture was popular in western Asia, while the necropolis itself appears to have been in use between the third century B.C. and the beginning of the second century A.D.
Researchers were careful to note that the artifacts cannot be linked to a specific archaeological culture. Mordvintseva pointed out that “this region is very big, and not sufficiently excavated,” particularly in the area where the necropolis is located. “[I]t is situated high in mountains. Perhaps the population of this area [had] trade routes/passes with Caucasian countries — Georgia, Armenia etc.,” Mordvintseva writes in the email.