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Skeletons found in 1,000-year-old grave with rings around neck and buckets on feet

The 1,000-year-old grave was discovered near Kyiv, Ukraine, with over 107 skeletons

Alexander Butler
Tuesday 23 January 2024 11:19 GMT
Related video: Archaeologists Discover ‘Incredibly Rare’ 5,000-Year-Old Tomb Filled With 14 Skeletons

A 1,000-year-old cemetery was unearthed with skeletons discovered buried with rings around their necks and buckets on their feet.

The bones, discovered near Kyiv, Ukraine, were also found with axes, swords, spears, jewellery, and chicken bones, in what is thought to be a mass pagan grave.

Archaeologists also found a stone altar, as well as bracelets, beads and the remains of food offerings like eggshells, according to new research.

Skeletons in the 1000-year-old grave were found with rings around their necks (Vyacheslav Baranov)

In one image, a female skeleton can be seen laid out with rings around the neck and wrists. This could have been used to distinguish gender, researchers said.

At the time the cemetery was in use, people in Ukraine were converting to Christianity. This included Volodymyr the Great, who left behind his pagan roots and was baptized around 987.

The bones were also found with axes, swords, spears and jewellry (Vyacheslav Baranov)

Researchers Vsevolod Ivakin and Vyacheslav Baranov, who led the project, said: “Arms found at Ostriv are typical for Kyivan Rus’ and north-eastern Europe more broadly.

“Other elements, such as buckets from two Ostriv male graves, are also found at 11th-century Prussian cremation and Pomeranian and Masovian inhumation cemeteries of military elites.”

The researchers excavated the cemetery between 2017 and 2022. The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, has paused many excavations in Ukraine, including this one, the archaeologists told Science Live.

Archaeologists also found a stone altar, as well as bracelets and beads (Vyacheslav Baranov)

It comes after a 2000-year-old temple filled with gold and jewels was unearthed in Greece by archaeologists.

The site, excavated on the Greek island of Evia, was discovered packed full of gold, silver and amber.

Dating back to 7th century BC, the 100-foot building was uncovered in 2023 by a team of 50 researchers.

“The excavation of the archaic temple brought to light rich offerings: Corinthian alabaster, attic vases, ritual prochos of local production, as well as jewelry made of precious materials like gold, silver and coral,” Greece’s ministry of culture said.

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