Richly woven textiles, gorgeous gold-leaf covered wooden horse tack ornaments and other rare organic artifacts, normally not preserved in other areas of the Ancient Near East and Central Asia, have been excavated in burial mounds, or “kurgans”.
Ertugrul Gunay, the Turkish culture and tourism minister, said the 24 pieces of jewelry are among thousands of historical artifacts returned to the country over the past two decades, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
The Stone Age statuettes, which are estimated to be between 9,000 and 9,500 years old, may have been charms to help ensure successful hunting, according to archaeologists who announced the discovery today in an e-mailed release.
Turkish archeologist Kutalmis Gorkay prepared a report “indicating that these mosaics absolutely belong to the ancient city of Zeugma,” where he now heads excavations. The letter also said that a copy of Gorkay’s report had been sent to the university, in Northwest Ohio near Toledo.