The Greek myth says that the Amazons were an ancient people ruled solely and exclusively by Warrior women. He was, so to speak, one of the worst enemies of classical heroes like Hercules or Achilles.
Over the centuries, this group was located in the anatolian peninsula (Asia Minor). There, at the mouth of the River Thermodonte, is where, for example, the city of Themiscira would have been (yes, the same one that appears in the Wonder Woman comics).
The historian Herodotus (484-425 BC), however, placed them a little further northeast, in the Pontic steppes that today are part of Kazakhstan, the southern russia Y Ukraine. That was the border between the Greeks and the Scythian peoples, of Iranian origin and whose culture was based on nomadic herding and horse breeding.
One of the skeletons of the warriors. / (Russian Academy of Science)
More than 30 years ago, in 1988, an archaeological expedition in the Republic of Tuva found a unique burial from the early Iron age at the Saryg-Bulun site. On the site they were discovered two burial mounds -joined between them forming an eight- of the 4th century BC
There were up to 7 people buried, each one accompanied by multiple artifacts. The one that most surprised the Russian researchers was tomb number five, where there was a coffin made of larch trunk (Larix), with a tightly closed lid. Thanks to the properties of wood and the lack of air, inside was the well preserved mummy of what was thought to be a boy and that he still had skin on his face.
Three decades later, the DNA analysis of these remains revealed something surprising. The skeleton was not male, but a young man about 13 years old, according to the study published by the Russian Academy of Sciences. Of the other six skeletons, three were also of women and one of them was buried as if she were riding a horse.
The eldest of the women was buried with a crown-like headdress known as “calathos.” / (Russian Academy of Science)
When the ancient Greeks encountered the scythians, who dominated the Eurasian steppe in the first millennium BC, the first thing that caught their attention and left them deeply impressed was precisely the ability of the young women of this tribe to ride into battle.
At the time archaeologists found the girl’s remains, she was wearing a leather headdress painted with red pigment and a coat sewn from the skin of a desert rodent known as a jerboa and girded with an ornate leather belt and buckles. bronze.
In addition, inside the coffin he had a leather quiver with arrows with the shafts decorated with painted ornaments, perfectly preserved battle spikes and a bow. Two other of the “Amazon” they were also buried with weapons.
”We can certainly say that these women were warriors that they were on horseback, ”says Valerii Guliaev, leader of the expedition. The team found that the burial mound contained 30 iron arrowheads and that one of the warriors, the oldest, carried a gold crown and one dagger.
“These diadems were found in little more than two dozen places and they were all in the tzar, not very rich burial mounds in the steppe area of Scythia. But this is the first time we found him at the burial one amazon“Guliaev said in a statement.
In the cemetery known as Devitsa V there are up to 19 mounds, part of which are almost hidden, as this region is currently an agricultural area that is plowed. In ancient times, some of the tombs were probably covered by crisscrossing oak blocks that rested on 11 strong pillars.
The four women buried They had different ages: two were young, one between 20 and 29 years old and the other between 25 and 35 years old; there was a 12 to 13 year old adolescent; and a woman between 45 and 50 years old (at the time scythian, life expectancy was between 30 and 35 years). The burial of all of them took place simultaneously.
The grave robbersHowever, they passed through the site and stole part of the trousseau of the girl and one of the young women. Among the scattered remains they found arrowheads, an iron bird-shaped hook, fragments of horse harness, iron hooks to hang the harness, iron knives, fragments of molded glasses and multiple animal bones.
Between the two intact skeletons there was the one of the girl that was buried in a “Rider position”. Below the left shoulder of this Amazon was a bronze mirror and to the left were two spears. A bracelet made of glass beads and two vessels were also found.
Next to the old woman, Besides the Crown, the Scythians placed an iron arrowhead of a rather rare type, with a forked end. This finding, beyond the weapons and harnesses of the horses, has allowed researchers to suggest that the Amazon they had their real place in history. “Women warriors who protected their homes while men went to war for a long time,” they indicate.
“The Amazon They are a Scythian phenomenon And, in the last decade, our expedition has discovered approximately 11 burials of young armed women. All the burial rituals that were generally done for men were also performed for them. This is the first time, however, that we have met four Amazons of such different ages ”, concludes Valerii Guliaev.
David Ruiz Marull, La Vanguardia.