A human skeleton, over 3,000 years old, was discovered following archaeological excavations carried out recently in Botoşani county. It dates back to the early Bronze Age and, archaeologists say, could belong to an important figure of the time. The skeleton was transferred to Iași, where anthropologists will determine its age and sex.
The skeleton, which archaeologists say belongs to the Yamnaya culture, was discovered near Drăguşeni commune, Botoşani county. “The research at Drăguşeni was focused on several periods and in several sites. Starting from 2018, we have been carrying out surface research in the area and on the occasion of a field visit, together with colleagues from the Institute of Archeology in Iasi, we identified the traces of two burial mounds, two large funerary monuments, quite flattened due to agriculture and which we recently decided to study, considering that they deteriorate every year more and more. We followed the recovery of scientific information, for the most part, as well as the documentation of the traces left, identifying for now only one skeleton. The skeleton belongs to the beginning of the Bronze Age, respectively to the Yamnaya culture which is quite little known on the territory of Botoşani county“, says Adela Kovacs, head of the Archeology Section of the County Museum Botosani.
Archaeologists from the Botoşani County Museum, from the Institute of Archeology in Iasi, as well as archaeologists from the University of Opava and the Museum of Silesia in the Czech Republic participated in the excavations.
“The skeleton preserves traces of red ocher, a substance that was put on the deceased, in the area of the head and in the area of the feet, to emphasize a rite related to rebirth, to blood, to the other world. The position of the body is a crouched one. Initially, a was placed on his back, with his knees brought to his chest, which suggests the fetal position. This position of the baby represents the rendering of the earth for a future birth,” added the head of the Archeology Section of the Botoşani County Museum.
The discovery of the 3,000-year-old skeleton will “bring very valuable information with reference to the funeral rituals practiced at that time”, say the archaeologists. In addition, it could be a significant figure of the time, they believe.
“The entire Botoşani county has numerous tumuli. The Drăguşeni area in particular is preferred by certain prehistoric communities to bury their leaders, probably because these tumuli are elements of funerary prestige. The fact that a certain community digs the pit and builds these tombs and they cover them with real artificial hills, they probably also signaled to other populations that there is a top leader or important people of the community,” Adela Kovacs added.