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Ancient SIberian Mummy Covered in Copper

Two mummies were discovered near Salekhard in Russia’s far north at the Zeleniy Yar burial site, a medieval archaeological site containing dozens of graves. So far, two of the these strange new mummies have been discovered: an adult of unusually tall stature, and a child estimated to be no older than six months old.  They were covered in copper, the adult having been plated from head to toe, while the baby’s was covered in fragments of a copper kettle. Preliminary dating suggests the individuals were buried around 1,300 years ago. Alexander Gusev, a senior researcher from Russia's Centre for the Arctic Studies, said: "The mummified remains were found lying next to each other, buried strictly along a north to south line."

Archeologists say the adult's cocoon is some 5ft 7 inches in length, suggesting the male or female inside was unusually tall for the period.

Experts from Russia and South Korea will now carefully open the burial cocoon at a laboratory in Tyumen to determine the age and sex of the copper clad medieval polar region dweller, as well as the type of fur used to warm the dead on the way to their next life.

The team will use computer tomography to look at the remains within their burial cocoons, including any artifacts within them. They will also study the DNA of the mummies and carry out histological (microscopic anatomy) and parasitological analysis.

Results from the latest field studies will be presented in November at a conference in Salekhard covering archaeology in the Arctic. 


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