Archaeologists have found a treasure trove of 3,000 gold and precious items in Kazakhstan in a burial mound in the remote Tarbagatai mountains. It’s believed the “priceless” stash that belonged to the Saka people and could date to eight centuries before the birth of Christ.
This treasure may yield important insights into the Saka. They were nomadic people who spoke an Iranian language and were a sub-group of the Scythians, who dominated the Eurasian Steep for centuries. The Saka focus was in Central Asia, and expanded from there into Iran, India, and Central Asia.
The burial mound is believed to have belonged to a prestigious couple. Professor Zainolla Samashev, in charge of the excavations, said in an interview: “A large number of valuable finds in this burial mound let us believe a man and a woman are buried here–the reigning persons or people who belonged to the elite of Saka society.”
Head of the East-Kazakhstan region Danial Akhmetov said to the Daily Mail: “This find gives us a completely different view of the history of our people.” It is now evident that these people were exceptionally skilled in mining, or extraction, selling and jewelry making,” he said.
“We are the heirs of the great people and great technologies,” Akhmetov said.
The Saka were renowned for their horsemanship. First recorded in the 9th century B.C., they were a major military power. Archaeologists rediscovered their culture and history in the twentieth century.
Among the finds are earrings in the shape of bells, gold plates with rivets, plaques, chains, and a necklace with precious stones.