Thursday, August 14, 2014

7th Century Turkic Burial from Kazakhstan, with Musical Instrument

Turkic burial of the early 7th century CE recently unearthed in the Altai region of Kazakhstan: a warrior and his horse, side by side. (Beautiful prep work for the photograph, I might add.)

The government press release summarizes the main finds:
The scientists found weapons belonging to this epoch next to the warrior: a helmet, a quiver, an arrow, a sword, sabers, as well as a horse with a golden harness and a bridle. The most important discovery of the excavation was a musical instrument, similar to (Kazakh) kobyz…. The kobyz is an ancient Kazakh instrument that has two strings made of horsehair. It was believed to be a sacred instruments that could drive away evil spirits. It was often used by spiritual medics and shamans.
That's a close-up of the kobyz, underneath the sword, although I can't really make it out. But what would be more useful on your way to the afterlife than an implement for driving away evil spirits? Via the History Blog.

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