2,000-year-old gold jewelry from a little-known culture discovered in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is rich in burial mounds, many of which have survived untouched to this day. Unfortunately, most of them were looted in ancient times, so it is not often possible to find valuable artifacts. However, this time the team of Kazakh archaeologists was lucky – of the three mounds they examined in Turkestan, one turned out to be untouched. It contained valuable relics over 2,000 years old, belonging to a poorly studied culture. The find allows us to draw conclusions not only about the high development of civilization in this territory, but also confirms its trade relations with almost the whole world.

2000-year-old gold jewelry from a little-known culture was discovered in Kazakhstan. In Kazakhstan, scientists discovered an untouched mound with gold jewelry. Photo.

In Kazakhstan, scientists discovered an untouched mound with gold decorations

Ancient artifacts from a mound in Kazakhstan

In one of the three mounds in which the woman was buried, archaeologists found gold earrings, hunting arrowheads, a bronze mirror and other artifacts. Presumably, they were created during the time of the Kangyu state. As mentioned above, not much information is known about this culture. The state arose between the 5th century BC, and fell into decline in the 4th AD, that is, it existed for approximately 900 years. At some point in time, it became second in the region in terms of its influence and strength.

The finds indicate highly developed craftsmanship in the region. It is known that during this period of time the Kangyu state traded with ancient Rome, ancient China and the Kushan Empire. However, not all finds were made by local craftsmen. For example, a round bronze mirror with an arched octagonal pattern on the back and a hole for a thread was most likely made in China during the Han Dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC to 220 AD.

Ancient artifacts from a mound in Kazakhstan. A bronze mirror discovered in a mound next to the remains of a woman. Photo source: www.gov.kz. Photo.

A bronze mirror discovered in a mound next to the remains of a woman. Photo source: www.gov.kz

Similar mirrors were valued throughout Eurasia. Similar items were previously discovered on the territory of ancient Tillya-tepe in the Kushan Empire (modern Afghanistan), as well as in the burial places of the Sarmatian kings in the Southern Urals. The presence of such a mirror in the burial suggests that the woman was rich and had a high status in society, but perhaps not as high as that of the girl who was buried in royal clothes.

In addition, among the artifacts, scientists discovered a brooch made in the Roman style, large and small beads, a clay jug, a shoe, a belt buckle and some other items. Each find has great scientific value, as it can tell about the history of the state, the life of local people and trade relations with other states.

Ancient treasures – gold jewelry

The researchers' attention was especially drawn to gold earrings made from an alloy called “polychromatic” gold. They are made in the shape of a crescent and symbolize the Moon. Bunches of grapes hang from them at the bottom. The earrings are inlaid with turquoise and rubies.

Ancient treasures - gold jewelry. Ancient gold earrings are made in the shape of a crescent. Photo source: www.gov.kz. Photo.

Ancient gold earrings are made in the shape of a crescent. Photo source: www.gov.kz

Now everyone will be able to see the jewelry, since the finds will be in the national museum in the city of Astana. There you can also look at other artifacts that belong to the Kangyu culture.

The mysterious ancient state of Kangyu

According to the head of the expedition, Alexander Podushkin, the ancient state was a kind of federation of different peoples, among which were the Sarmatians, the Xiongnu, and the Sakas, who were presumably Scythians. Basically, the population was Indo-European people. Most likely, he was related to the Iranian people and groups close to them.

Kangyuy was located on the territory of the central part of modern Kazakhstan. The Great Silk Road connecting China and the Mediterranean passed through it. Such an advantageous location from an economic point of view contributed to the developed diplomatic and trade relations of the state with the entire ancient world, both in the west and in the east.

The mysterious ancient state of Kangyu. Approximate location of the state of Kangyu. Image source: wikipedia.org. Photo.

Approximate location of the Kangyu state. Image source: wikipedia.org

In addition to trade, the local population was engaged in hunting and cattle breeding. In particular, the population was engaged in breeding cattle, sheep, horses and goats. Agriculture was also developed. At the same time, the people mastered all the technologies of the Iron Age. Currently, some settled settlements remain from the Kangyu people, which are classified by archaeologists as the Jetyasar culture.

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Finally, we suggest you familiarize yourself with another interesting archaeological find made on the territory of Kazakhstan. We are talking about an ancient pyramid, whose age is almost 4000 years. Scientists were surprised by the high precision with which it was built. Its outer walls were decorated with images of various animals. You can read more about this find at the link.