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18 April 2011

Ancient Mongolian carpet on exhibit in Novosibirsk

Baikal-Daily. Translated by Heda Jindrak

Ancient Mongolian carpet on exhibit in NovosibirskNovosibirsk Akademgorodok archeologists put on exhibit for public viewing a carpet embroidered two thousand years ago.

This carpet was found in 2009 in a kurgan of the nomadic empire of Hsiung-Nu  in the Noin-Ula mountains on the territory of Mongolia, 120 kilometers of Ulan-Bator. The fabric embroidered with human figures was lying at the bottom of the burial pit, which had been robbed already in the ancient times.


Restoration of the artifact,  undertaken by restorers of the Moscow Kremlin museums took more than one year.

- The archeologists successfully recovered these masterpieces,  then in the shape of clumps of mud, from a depth of 10-12 meters. Things like that are not in the Louvre, nor in the Hermitage, - says the deputy director of Institute of Archeology and ethnography of SO RAN, academician Vyacheslav Molodin.


The leader of Novosibirsk archeological expedition to the kurgans of Noin-Ula, Doctor of historical sciences Natalia Polosmak compares the discovered works of art with "a book without text, but with pictures".

-  At that time (1st Century BC to 1st Century CE) the Zoroastrian religion spread through almost all the Iranian peoples. The priest who is standing next to the altar, is holding a mushroom in his hands. There has been a long controversy about the main ingredients of the Zoroastrian sacred beverage  Haom - or the Soma of the Vedas,  - Professor Polosmak explains the significance of the embroidery.  The carpet from  this Mongolian kurgan helped to prove that Zoroastrians used hallucinogenic mushrooms fro this purpose.

The carpet was on exhibit at the House of Scientists of SO RAN for only one day, then the find was sent back to Mongolia. As academician Molodin said, in 2011 Novosibirsk archeologists will be going back to mountains of Noin-Ula for more excavations.

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