Sunday, June 07, 2020

Arkhaim: No Idea Who What Or When - But Some Big Heads In The Mix

ancient-origins |  Arkaim is a mysterious site located in Russia. Experts believe the citadel, not necessarily the oldest feature of the site, was built between the 17th and 16th century BC. But there are several reasons why Arkaim stands apart from other Bronze Age settlements in the area, leading to the idea it was built by a separate group. There is controversy on exactly who the builders were and what they made the site for and that uncertainty has led to some fascinating, if unorthodox, claims. 

Although it is unknown who built Arkaim, archaeological evidence found at the site suggests that it was inhabited by people of the Aryan race. Specifically, it has been suggested that Arkaim’s residents once consisted of members of the Sintashta culture, Indo-Iranian people of the ancient Eurasian Steppe. 

The principal evidence for Aryans having lived at Arkaim is the discovery of horse burials following their style. This practice is described in ancient Indian texts and says that horses were buried with their masters. Being nomads, many Indo-European peoples had a strong connection to their horses and it’s not surprising for them to think that the deep connection would continue into the afterlife. Evidence of ritual horse sacrifices has been found in stone necropolises unearthed in the Arkaim Valley.

Apart from its creators, another mystery is why the site was suddenly abandoned. There is some evidence of a fire, however that may not have been the cause of desertion. Because the site was fortified, some people believe it was abandoned when the inhabitants lost a war. Skeletons have been found at Arkaim and in the expansive necropolises of the valley, but the human remains do not generally suggest death in battle.  

A particularly interesting find of human remains was made at Arkaim in 2013 - an individual with an elongated skull. The person may have belonged to the Sarmati tribe. Researchers believe that the alteration was intentional; it was, after all, a common practice amongst some groups who lived in the South Ural (it is also found worldwide). Nonetheless, the reasons behind this ritual deformation are unknown; leading some to see stronger ties between the curious site of Arkaim and extraterrestrials.