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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Aztec Tower of Human Skulls

On early July 2017, a tower of human skulls unearthed beneath the heart of Mexico City has raised new questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec Empire after crania of women and children surfaced among the hundreds embedded in the forbidding structure. Archaeologists have found more than 650 skulls caked in lime and thousands of fragments in the cylindrical edifice near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.

Tales of the tower of skulls which struck fear into the hearts of Spanish conquistadors have been passed down through the generations in Mexico.

The structure is believed to be part of the Huey Tzompantli, a rack of bones which became the stuff of legend among Spanish conquistadores as they colonised Mexico. Their writings mentioned a tower of skulls.

For the next 500 years, the skulls lay undisturbed underneath what was once the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, but is now Mexico City. Until, a group of archaeologists began the painstaking work of uncovering their secrets two years ago.

What they found has shocked them, because in among the skulls of the young men are those of women and children - bringing into question everything historians thought they knew.

Andres de Tapia, a Spanish soldier who fought with Cortes in the 1521 conquest of Mexico, almost certainly recorded the structure, archaeologist Raul Barrera told Reuters. De Tapia wrote that there were thousands of skulls, and researchers believe they will find more as the excavation continues.

Its base has yet to be uncovered, and it is thought many more skulls will be found.


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Mystery of The Golden Spectre of Goblin Hill

One of the most famous ghost stories from wales is that of the Golden Spectre of Golden Hill. Its fame due largely to the fact that the ghost is authenticated not just by witness testimony but also by a real, solid artefact which survives today, and which just happens to be one of the prized possesions of the British Museum. Goblin Hill, or to give it its correct Welsh name Bryn yr Ellyllon, rises to the east of Mold in an area of the town called Pentre.

On the left side of the hill, as one leaves Mold, a stone plaque has been fixed to a wall, commemorating an important archaeological discovery. Near the plaque there was once a prominent mound called the Tomen. Prior to the opening of the ancient grave, the area around the Tomen was haunted by a ghost called the Brenin yr Allt, or King of the Hillside. He was described as taking the appearance of a man of huge stature - a man who was seen to be 'glittering and shining in gold'. 

The origins and possible meaning behind the Ghost remained a mystery until October 11, 1833, Mr. John Langford, who rented the field, ordered that the mound to be levelled and the stones composing it be taken to fill in a hole by the side of the road. in the base of the mound the labourers came across a cist, or slab-lined grave, and in this grave they uncovered the largest piece of prehistoric goldwork ever found in Europe. The so-called 'Mold Cape' is an exquisitely ornamented sheet of gold which ould have fitted round the shoulders of the Bronze Age chieftain or priest whose crumbling bones were interred here. Initially its value wasn't recognised, and it was thrown to one side. When someone noticed it was made of gold, however, something of a free-for-all took place and chunks of it were ripped off, and taken away as souvenirs, the result being that it survives today in a sadly mutilated form.

John Langford was well aware of the stories of the Golden Spectre and made a point of visiting an old lady named Nancy, who claimed to have seen it fouteen years previously while fetching home her cows one moonlit night. Nancy was delighted to learn that the 'ghost was raised' and her story substantiated.


Haunted Wales: A Guide to Welsh Ghostlore written by Richard Holland

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