which I wrote about last year. The cemetery belongs to the Okunev culture, the beginning of Siberia's Bronze Age. This week archaeologists published two new finds from burials dating to around 2500 BCE. The head above is described by the excavators as a "mythical beast", and it does look a bit like a dragon, but it seems to me that it might also be a horse. It is made of meteoric iron.
Sunday, December 31, 2017
More Amazing Finds from the Siberian Bronze Age
Labels: archaeology, Russia
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"The head above is described by the excavators as a "mythical beast", and it does look a bit like a dragon, but it seems to me that it might also be a horse. It is made of meteoric iron."
I think an argument could also be made for a juveline reindeer without antlers.
The site is in modern day Khakassia, which does possess plains and steppe terrain in some regions, but the site itself is on the shores of Lake Itkul, which is in an area of intensely forested hills and mountains.
Given the local environment, I would tend toward reindeer over horses - although both are still quite possible. Also, upon reflection, it might make sense for a child's grave to contain an item depicting a juveline animal.
Moreover, I'm confused by your statement that the item is meteoric iron. The link you provide claims in multiple places that it is fashioned from antler or horn, but makes no mention at all of iron.
Assuming it is antler or horn, that would fit wonderfully well with it being a reindeer, the overwhelmingly likely source of such material.
And finally, although we only have one image and one angle to judge from, I would argue that upon closer inspection, it looks like it may have had antlers carved onto it at some point that broke off - just in front of the (presumable) ear, which would match the biology of reindeer exactly.
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