An archaeological dig in the Eastern region of Voronezh, Russia, has unearthed an incredible discovery: a group of ancient burial pits with four women entombed with spears, headdresses, and other objects pointing to the existence of real-life Amazon warriors.
The story was first reported by the Art Newspaper.
The women were likely nomadic Scythian warriors who populated the steppes of southern Russia and formed a matriarchal society that has inspired everything from from Xena: Warrior Princess to Gal Godot’s Wonder Woman.
Valerii Guliaev, who led the expedition, shared the group’s findings in December at the Institute of Archaeology at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Although fragments of similar ceremonial headdresses have been found before, the one found in Voronezh is in superb condition and is the first to be located in this precise location near the Don River. It was discovered on the head of one of the women.
The bodies were found in a group of burial mounds that scientists noted had been, at some point, ravaged by robbers. In the first mound, the skeletal remains of two women—one was aged between 20 and 25, while the other was between 12 and 13—were surrounded by more than 30 iron arrowheads, pieces of a horse harness, iron hooks, knives, and animal bones likely belonging to a horse.
In addition, molded clay vessels and an incense burner dating to the second half of the 4th century BC were found scattered around various levels of the pit.
In another plot, two untouched skeletons were discovered inside wooden graves cushioned by grass, where scientists found a roughly 50-year-old woman wearing a heavily engraved gold-stamped headpiece (known as a kalaf) adorned with floral ornaments and pendants.
A final woman, aged between 30 and 35, was found in “the pose of a rider,” as if she were mounted on a horse, according to the archaeologists.
The woman also had a large bronze mirror, two spears, and wore a glass bead bracelet—one perhaps not dissimilar from the indestructible “Bracelets of Submission” worn by Wonder Woman as cautionary reminders that women should never submit to the charms of men.
See more images from the discovery below.
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