A hidden treasure comprising royal gold jewellery has been discovered in a burial mound in eastern Kazakhstan.

Archaeologists digging in the remote Tarbagatai mountains have found a hidden treasure of about 3,000 items dating 2,800 years back.

The trove was hidden in a burial mound and researchers believe it belonged to royal or elite members of the Saka people. The Saka people derived from the Scythians, a nomadic civilisation in central Asia, extending into Siberia, with a high level of sophistication.

The trove comprises various gold and precious items such as earrings in the shape of bells, gold plates with rivets, plaques, chains and a necklace with precious stones. The craftmanship is highly sophisticated for the period the items were made, as micro-soldering techniques were needed to manufacture gold beads, for instance, that would decorate clothes.

So far the graves have not been opened, but archaeologists believe they will find the remains of a prestigious couple within. They think the mound is where the people who were buried there were part of the elite, if not the king and queen.

Researchers have been stunned by the discovery since the techniques that must have been utilised to manufacture the jewellery indicate a high level of skills in metal extraction, selling and jewellery making.

Also, it a rare occasion to find a burial mound in the area that hasn’t been looted. Archaeologists believe that further excavations in the area will reveal more remains with gold treasures of the Saka people since many burial mounds have been located.