To archeologist Pavel Leus the striking new find resembled a modern smartphone.
The black rectangular object was located in a burial site known as ‘The Russian Atlantis’ in mountainous Republic of Tuva, for it only appears from under water for few weeks a year.
Found in a woman’s grave, the artifact has the size of 18 cm by 9 cm and is crafted from dark-grey gemstone, with colorful semiprecious stones and Chinese wuzhu coins as decorations. The scientists jokingly called the discovery “an iPhone,” but it was actually a buckle on a belt, which didn’t survive the test of time.
The coins found in the grave helped date the buckle as researchers knew they were first minted 2,137 years ago.
The ancient ‘iPhone’ is one of the many exciting finds made by the archeologists at the Ala-Tey necropolis in Russia’s Republic of Tuva, which borders Mongolia. The site was called ‘the Russian Atlantis’ as it is located at the bottom of the Sayan Sea, a large reservoir, created from the needs of Russia’s biggest power plant, the Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam. However, the water drains for a few weeks in May and June, giving the scientists access to the treasures dating from the Bronze Age to the times of Genghis Khan.