Rescue archaeological excavations at the site of the expansion of the railway in the Askizsky district of Khakassia in Siberia discovered a grave A late Bronze Age man with a “charioteer’s belt” was buried. a flat bronze plate with two curved hooks at the end, reminiscent of a yoke used to harness draft animals. This device is believed to have been used by charioteers to tie the reins around their waists so their hands were free to fight.
The tomb dates back to between the 11th and 8th centuries BC, a time when the Lugavian culture dominated the area. The excavation revealed the material remains of the cemetery, as well as settlements of this period, and the Lugavian mounds of the burial ground can be grouped into three stages – the transition to the Lugavian culture, the Lugavian middle stage and the late stage, when the characteristics of the next culture (Tagar) seem to be mixed with the features of the Lugavian. The charioteer’s grave is on the middle stage.
This is a square stone tomb with an earthen rampart poured on top. The deceased was buried with a bronze knife, bronze jewelry, including a necklace with rectangular pendants typical of the Lugava culture, and a belt.
Alexey Timoshchenko, an archaeologist at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Live Science in an email that the item was found in its original position on a man’s belt in an intact grave.
“This circumstance, along with direct analogies in the burial mounds of China, makes it possible to determine their purpose somewhat more confidently,” he said.
The remains of chariots were not found in the Siberian burials of this era, and the bronze belt with hooks was classified by Russian archaeologists as an unknown object for many years. Its use has been established by comparison with artifacts found in Chinese burials of chariots and bronzes from the Zhou Dynasty (11th-3rd century BC).