Ancient burial site found in Eastern Russia

A joint Russian-South Korean archaeological expedition in Russia’s Maritime Territory has discovered a unique burial site of the late Bohai period in the Chuguyevsky District.

Ancient burial site found in Eastern Russia
Archaeologists excavating the burial site of the late Bohai period
in the Chuguyevsky District [Credit: RIA Novosti]
RIA Novosti learned the news on Thursday from Nikolay Klyuev, head of the early archaeology department at the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Far East.

The early feudal Bohai state existed in 698-926 AD in what is now the Maritime Territory, the Korean Peninsula, and Manchuria. The Bohai culture was known for its iron and metals working skills. Bohai also maintained political, economic, and cultural ties with the neighbouring countries, especially China and Japan.

“During the excavations our archaeologists discovered the largest ritual burial site of the late Bohai period in the Far East. It dates to approximately 10th century AD,” Klyuev said. “This is a burial complex built for a very important person; they didn't build such things for ordinary people.”

He added that the structure has partially collapsed, and the roof is gone. It is about three metres high, and 10 metres in diameter. The whole complex consists of the main section (the mausoleum), and an upper annex in the form of a pyramid. Parts of the burial site have been destroyed.

“The architecture of the building is similar to the typical Bohai style, but there are some interesting distinctive features," Klyuev says. “Building a structure like this was an extremely challenging project at the time; the nearest source of the building materials was 15-17 km away, so the builders had to put in a lot of effort.”

The scientist also says that the newly-discovered burial site is unique in many ways. There are somewhat similar structures in China and Korea, but this one is very big and has a distinctive architectural style, so the expedition's discovery is very valuable indeed. Excavations at the site will continue next year.

Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines [September 18, 2013]

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