Grave of ancient Crimean princess discovered (Photo)
Grave of ancient Crimean princess discovered (Photo)

THE grave of an ancient Crimean princess bedecked in “priceless” gold has been unearthed by archaeologists. The wealthy Scythian woman lived at the same time as Christ in the first century AD, say Russian scientists. In her vault was a stunning laurel wreath of eight gold leaves.

She was adorned for the afterlife in gold jewellery including earrings, a necklace, and plaques on her sleeves.

Two gold eye plates were also found, but in a puzzle to archaeologists, they were located on her chest.

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Normally Scythian burials include several human remains but this has only the skeleton of the woman indicating her high status in ancient society on the Black Sea peninsula, say experts.

Nearby were found two gold rings, one with a glass ‘gem’.

The other was inlaid with translucent carnelian engraved with an image of Eros and a dog.

In all, there were 140 items in the grave of the ‘princess’.

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Other finds from her vault were glass beads on her sleeves and a jug, possibly containing ancient wine.

In the grave, too, was an incense burner and a flagon of frankincense.

Many other graves at the Ust-Alminsky site in the Crimea peninsula – annexed by Russia from Ukraine five years ago – were looted.

Russian politician Ruslan Balbek said: “Some decorations in the form of a laurel wreath, golden amphoras and rings are unique in their characteristics.

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“They are fascinating in their novelty.”

The finds are as significant and valuable as another famous haul from the same ancient necropolis, some 31 miles southwest of regional capital Simferopol.

These finds are now held in the Netherlands where they were on display when Russia annexed Crimea.

Ukraine is engaged in a legal dispute to retain possession of this collection for which the insurance value was £1.7million.

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