An untouched frozen burial discovered last week in Siberia is believed to contain the remains of a Scythian prince.
The frozen tomb is said to be that of a Scythian royal from 2,800 years ago. The Scythians were nomadic warriors who resided thousands of years ago in present-day Siberia. The civilisation also flourished in Central Asia and the Eurasian Steppes between the ninth and first centuries BC.
Dr Gino Caspari made the stunning discovery while examining a satellite image of the Uyuk Valley in southern Russia. The archaeologist noticed a circular structure in the satellite image which he suspected was a burial mound from the Scythian civilisation.
The region is often referred to as the Siberian Valley of the Kings due to the high number of tombs found there.
Caspari, who is a researcher at the University of Bern, Switzerland, believed he found the tomb in a swamp in the Russian republic of Tuva, located in southern Siberia. The discovered monument is said to be the largest Scythian princely tomb found in the country.
According to experts, because of its inaccessible location in a swamp, the tomb is untouched and not looted. The objects that would be unearthed from the burial sites could include jewellery, pots, and weapons that date back to ninth century BC.
Caspari wrote in a research paper published in the journal Archeological Research in Asia: "No other frozen kurgans of this size are known in Eurasia." Kurgan is a term used for a Scythian burial mound.
He added: "It is, however, also in danger because with the global rise in temperature these treasures are at immediate risk of being lost. Large excavation campaigns need to be carried out throughout the next years to excavate the complete object and preserve the knowledge we can gain from it."
The examination of the Kurgan is still ongoing and it is believed that it could possibly yield gold artefacts inside the tomb. Researchers also claim that there could possibly be an "ice mummy" buried due to the method of burial and weather conditions that may have preserved the tomb from deteriorating, even after centuries.