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Araltobe burial mound.

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“For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right wing and a left wing: for the wing of love there is anger; for the wing of destiny there is fear; for the wing of pain there is healing; for the wing of hurt there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride there is humility; for the wing of giving there is taking; for the wing of tears there is joy; for the wing of rejection there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment there is grace; for the wing of honor there is shame; for the wing of letting go there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance. Two beautiful wings is perfection. There is a generation of people who idealize perfection as the existence of only one of these wings every time. But I see that a bird with one wing is imperfect. An angel with one wing is imperfect. A butterfly with one wing is dead. So this generation of people strive to always cut off the other wing in the hopes of embodying their ideal of perfection, and in doing so, have created a crippled race” 

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It is an accurate replica of the golden mantle of a Samartian warrior and dignitary. This treasure and many other revealing objects dating from the l-st – II-nd centuries AD were excavated in 1999 near the hamlet of Kulsary at the burial site of Araltobe. 
Araltobe burial ground, located 65 kilometers from the city of Kulsary, Zhylyoi district of Atyrau region. The burial ground was investigated by the expedition of the West Kazakhstan branch of the Margulan Institute of Archeology under the leadership of the famous archeologist Zainulla Samashev in the republic.
Scientists have discovered in one mound the remains of a Sarmatian leader, his wife, two horses, a dog, and in another - beautiful artworks. According to the fragments found, scientists sought to reproduce a holistic picture. But it was possible to restore and reconstruct only the remains of the leader.
The human skull was sent to the Miklouho-Maclay Institute of Anthropology and Ethnology in Moscow. During archaeological excavations of three barrows in the Araltobe area of ​​the Zhylyoi region, the following were discovered: in the 1st barrow - a human skeleton, fragments of a dagger, a quiver with more than a hundred arrows.
Arrowheads, clay jugs, and beads were found in the 2nd mound. A discovery for archaeologists was the discovery of an iron saber dating from the Ist century. B.C. e - I C.N. e. Previously it was believed that it was distributed in the IV - V century.
AD The burial of the Sarmatian leader, excavated in the half-plundered 3rd mound, was a real sensation. Now this find is called the second Golden Man in the history of Kazakhstan. Gold plaques adorning the leader’s armor, fragments of a staff (asatayaka), as well as the remains of 2 sacrificed horses and golden eagles and clay jugs located here were attributed by scientists to 129 AD e.
It is established that this is the burial of the Sarmatian leader - the military leader, hunter. Restorer artist K. Altynbekov created the scientific reconstruction of the Golden Man, which he donated to the Atyrau Museum of History and Local Lore. A burial site dating back to the IInd century BC is open here.
Initially, the burial ground was a rounded stone structure two meters high, with a diameter of about forty meters. The round shape of the mound is characteristic of the culture of the sun-worshiping nationalities (fire worshipers), which also confirms the hearth located in the center of the burial ground with traces of strong and deep calcination.
The upper part of the mound was divided into 12 parts, and the central one into 4 parts. According to some versions, this corresponds to the calculation of the course of time - 12 months and four seasons. The entire surface of the mound is protected by an inclined scaly shell.
The ends of the aforementioned “rays” and other elements created a complex schematic design like a “sun wheel”. The entrance to the mound was located on the north side. The burial chamber itself was lined with reed mats, reinforced with thin poles.
The remains of a middle-aged man and several fragments of a woman’s bones were found in it. The deceased were buried with special honors, in a rich ceremonial robe, their heads to the south. Together with them, two horses, the remains of a bird, a standard set of weapons of an ancient warrior - a sword, a dagger, a spear, a quiver with arrows, as well as an import hum, a leather vessel and an iron rod coated with gold and decorated with prototypes of an eared griffin were put in the grave.
Hundreds of golden figured plates have been discovered. Scientists managed to recreate the image of the leader. And now the Atyrau Museum is especially proud of the exposition "The Mystery of the Century - The Golden Man".
After completing all the work in the Atyrau Museum of History and Local Lore, a unique exposition is opened - "The Mystery of the Century". Its exhibits are the figure of the Golden Man in ceremonial vestment with gold ornaments, as well as old vessels, a mound model, paintings depicting Sarmatian warriors.
The hairstyle of the Golden Man in the form of two braided braids was created on the basis of late antique and Roman sources, where the Sarmatians are mentioned. As the deputy director for scientific work of the museum, Raisa Tastemirova, explains, when reconstructing the leader’s costume, the fact was taken into account that during that historical period equestrian nomads of the Eurasian steppes from Ordos to the Black Sea region wore short leather tunic caftans.
Gold funeral plates decorated mainly the funerary costumes of the nomadic elite, reigning people, religious figures.

Araltobe burial mound.Reconstruction of a suit and weapon of the Sarmatian leader whose remains are found in 1999 in Araltobe Zhalyoyskiy Atyrayskoy's barrow of area. 2nd century BC. Scientific reconstruction: head of the West Kazakhstan expedition Zaynolla Samashev. Performer: restorer Kyry Altynbekov.Araltobe burial mound.Araltobe burial mound.

The guidebook across Kazakhstan . Authors Dagmar Schreiber and Jeremy Tredinnick.   Publishing house "Odyssey".2010. 

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.