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Berel mounds will turn into museum

14 October 2014
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Berel mounds will turn into museum
Zeynolla Samashev, archaeologist and discover of Berel burial mounds, told about the work which had been done there during the past few years.

"At the beginning — the mid-1990s in Altai (Ukok Plateau) archaeologists started discovering new centers of peculiar monuments — burial mound of the early Iron Age containing permafrost and, to the contrary, on the territory of Xinjiang in the PRC — burial places in deserts of Tarim and Turfan which are characterized by extremely dry — hot in summer and snowless cold in winter with penetrating wind. This climate helps to keep mummify human remains, their clothes and objects of everyday life as well as accompanying burial place of horses", — a world-famous archaeologist Zeynolla Samashev wrote in his book "Berel".

15 years have passed since the first archaeological expedition to Berel. Over this period of time scientific world was repeatedly amazed by the discoveries of the richest Scythian-Saka necropolis dated back to the 4th −3rd centuries BC. The Tsar and his mother, accompanied by 13 horses decorated with gold, continue stirring imagination.

Zeynolla Samashevich, do you still conduct excavations of Berel?

— This year we haven’t worked there because the Ministry of Culture didn’t provide a financial assistance. Next year we will dig one or two mounds and the work will be finished on it. We have already started landscaping and formation of museum on this territory. Over the period of five years three buildings have been constructed; we plan to erect visit-center, museum building, camping-sites or cottages for the progress in local tourism should be erected in future. This is necessary because one museum couldn’t solve the problems related to the development of local historical science and learning history. In this regard, nowadays tourism also should be supported. In addition, discovered by us barrows should be reconstructed. Thus, each barrow will turn into the object of museumification.

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Development of the territory of museum-reserve

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Museum’s project


13 decorated horses and two personages — Tsar and his mother were found in barrow № 11 which is the biggest one. The atmosphere of the barrow should be reconstructed. It should turn into the place of interest. We are planning to do this work next year.

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Historical reconstruction — Scythian Tsar

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Reconstruction, barrow № 11, Tsarist burial place

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Barrow № 11, museum exhibit

At the present moment only a part of the territory is fenced. It is necessary to continue technical works on landscaping and creation of museum infrastructure. 15 years have passed since burial mounds had been discovered. Just one year after this we talked about the need to establish museum-reserve. We created the museum, but now everything depends on systematic approach. The museum functions, however, the conducted work is far from satisfactory since it does not meet the international standards.


Lyudmila Vykhodchenko

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