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'Accidental' Siberian Mummies Part of Mysterious Ancient Arctic Civilization

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the who-are-you-who-who-who-who? dept.

Science 34

concertina226 (2447056) writes "Russian archaeologists are trying to discover the origins of a group of 800-year-old bodies found just 29 km from the Arctic Circle, which were accidentally mummified by copper when they were buried. The mummies were discovered at Zeleniy Yar in Siberia, in 34 shallow graves, and 11 of the bodies found in the medieval burial place had either smashed skeletons or missing and shattered skulls. They may have been damaged by their peers deliberately to prevent spells emanating from them. There is only one female, a child, who is buried with her face masked by copper plates, and three male infant mummies, who wear copper masks and were bound in four or five copper hoops that each measure several centimetres wide."

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Or... (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#46784491)

Putin is going to claim they were Russian speakers, and therefore Russia has a natural right to everything north of the Arctic circle.

LHB Chief Gangbang Organizer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46784555)

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Thank you.

Then Fox News... (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#46785065)

will talk about how Obama is such a "wimp" for not invading the Arctic Circle immediately.

Re:Then Fox News... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 5 months ago | (#46786313)

Actually, that would be Canada's prerogative. And Canada is taking steps to enhance its presence in the Arctic Circle . . . precisely because they are concerned that Russia plans to lay claim to the emerging shipping lanes there.

And Obama has never seen "Ice Station Zebra": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Then Fox News... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 5 months ago | (#46787321)

So we can then have Stephen Harper establish his credentials as the leader of the Free World, by taking on Putin. It may seem a lot, except that Russia is as sparsely populated as Canada.

One idea - move all unemployed Americans - or USians, as /.ers like to call it - to Ellesmere & Baffin Island, so that the Western claims on the North Pole is established. There would be enough to take on the entire Russian army - and I'd bet that most of them are there on their borders w/ Ukraine, as well as the Caucasus, and not on their northern shore.

In the meantime, the world's 'Have-nots' can make a beeline for the Antarctic...

Re:Then Fox News... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 5 months ago | (#46787329)

Forgot to add - the US does have Alaska, so Obama can't claim no proximity to the Arctic circle. Particularly since he believes that the US has 57 states, so AK has to be one of them.

Re:Or... (1, Flamebait)

jrumney (197329) | about 5 months ago | (#46785105)

The fact that the copper had not been stolen yet should be enough to prove it is not part of Russia.

Re:Or... (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 5 months ago | (#46786095)

Anexorexia Nervosa is a disease!!
Dont mock or bully people who suffer from it!

Re:Or... (0)

azav (469988) | about 5 months ago | (#46786935)

Oh, here's a burger.

Re:Or... (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | about 5 months ago | (#46786279)

He can claim anything North of the North Pole :-)

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787465)

You mean Amerika will claim Russia is invading the arctic, and apply sanctions.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46794007)

What if the mummies there supported that claim?

Uh oh (4, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46784507)

I sure hope they're not stupid enough to remove those copper restraints. They were put there for a reason...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00... [imdb.com]

you know, this Arctic Circle is a nice place (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 5 months ago | (#46784571)

it would be a shame if some "copper accident" happened to it.

Ancient? (4, Informative)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 5 months ago | (#46784703)

800 years is not ancient. It is medieval. If they meant to say 8000 thats really damn impressive they kniw about the religious beliefs about spells emanating from skulls.

Re:Ancient? (4, Insightful)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 5 months ago | (#46784729)

I see they are truky 800 years old, so ancient is a pretty dumb term to use. Ancient is generally reserved for BCE.

Re:Ancient? (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 5 months ago | (#46785321)

The other term that is out of place is 'civilization' when refering to copper jewelery.

Also, the fact that these bodies were preserved might have something to do with the coldness of the location, (like froaen mammoth carcasses found also in siberia)

Re:Ancient? (1)

Sique (173459) | about 5 months ago | (#46786641)

Actually, "civilisation" is derived from "civitas" (town), thus originally a civilisation has started to live in or around cities, which has happened already during the Copper Age. There are even Late Stone Age towns.

Re:Ancient? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 months ago | (#46788905)

Bah, you young whipper snappers, back in my day Ancient was reserved for before God said Let their be light!

Re:Ancient? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46785013)

I don't know what you're talking about. My old flip phone is ancient, and that was only 10 years ago. 'Ancient' is a subjective and contextual term.

Magna Carta is 800y old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46791515)

People are gearing up for next year's Magna Carta 800th Anniversary. [magnacarta800th.com]
Furthermore, The (secret) City of London [google.com] is older than that!

Bet On Vikings (3, Insightful)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#46784759)

The age of the remains makes them about perfect for Vikings exploring the area.

Re:Bet On Vikings (4, Informative)

Zedrick (764028) | about 5 months ago | (#46785849)

My ancestors were very cool and died in all kinds of crazy places, but can't take credit for this. The viking age ended around 1050, and the jewelry pictured is not Scandinavian.

Re:Bet On Vikings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46788517)

Way to insert yourself gratuitously...

Re:Bet On Vikings (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#46785967)

but vikings are more ancient than this.

however, if this is what they used their copper for it might explain why they(northern tribes) had to start using reindeer parts for everything.

Re:Bet On Vikings (1)

cusco (717999) | about 5 months ago | (#46788901)

Probably not Vikings, more likely the same red haired people who lived between Persia and the western gates of the Great Wall. There are many mummies with similar features from the Tarim Basin, preserved by high salinity soils rather than copper and permafrost. They appear to have been of eastern European origin, and their textiles and genetics indicate that they are of the same people who also moved westward and became the Celts. These mummies are much later than the Tarim mummies, who did not make such proliferate use of copper.

Wasn't this a film with Lee and Cushing? (3, Informative)

sandbagger (654585) | about 5 months ago | (#46784919)

Terror Train has Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as archeologists bringing back a mummy from China via train through Siberia. Then, it wakes up.

Re:Wasn't this a film with Lee and Cushing? (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 5 months ago | (#46785299)

"Terror Train has Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as archeologists bringing back a mummy from China via train through Siberia. Then, it wakes up."

What wakes up? Siberia? China? Or the train...

Reminds me of something... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46785713)

Mysterious ancient Arctic civilization? Mummies? Ph'nglui mglw'nafh C'thulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn !! The Shoggots ! Those eyes! Run, run!

True (1)

azav (469988) | about 5 months ago | (#46786949)

> They may have been damaged by their peers deliberately to prevent spells emanating from them

Same thing we do in my family.

It's hard to get a good night's sleep with all those spells emanating from grandpa's shallow grave.

Skyrim? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787031)

Those are draugur, they'd better leave them alone!

Medieval battle? (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 5 months ago | (#46787433)

Perhaps the 11 were battle casualties? In which case...where did the victors go?

How about some better links, with more pictures? (2)

gnunick (701343) | about 5 months ago | (#46788837)

As soon as I see an "ibtimes" domain, I know better than to RTFA. I don't understand why /. ever posts links to their crappy sites unless they're getting kickbacks on click-throughs.

So how about looking for some alternate sources? Googling "Zeleniy Yar mummies" suggests that this isn't some ibtimes hoax after all.

This Siberian Times article seems to have the most information with lots of great pictures, the fewest ads, and other sites credit it as their source:
http://siberiantimes.com/scien... [siberiantimes.com]

Preserved by temperature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46797357)

The archaeologists believe that the bodies have been preserved purely by accident, helped by the soil in the area, which is sandy and not permanently frozen, as well as the use of copper, which prevents oxidation, and the drop in temperatures in the 14th century.

So back then natural climate variability was a given. Now, though, it has to be human-induced global warming!

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