Ukok Plateau


Ukok Plateau

Ukok Plateau is a remote and pristine grasslands area located in the heart of southwestern Siberia, the Altai Mountains region of Russia near the borders with China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The Pazyryk is the name of an ancient people who lived in the Altai Mountains on this plateau who are associated with some spectacular archeological findings, including mummies found frozen in the permafrost. Many ancient Bronze Age tomb mounds have been found in the area and have been associated with the Pazyryk culture which closely resembled that of the legendary Scythian people to the west.cite book
first=Paul G.
last= Bahn
year=2000
title=The Atlas of World Geology
edition=
publisher=Checkmark Books
location=New York
pages= p 128
id= ISBN 0-8160-4051-6
] The term "kurgan" is in general usage to describe such log-barrow burials. Excavations of this site have continued to yield fascinating archaeological findings. [cite web
url=http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/768
title=Golden Mountains of Altai
publisher=UNESCO
accessdate=2007-07-31
] One famous finding is known as the "Ice Princess" excavated by Russian archaeologist, Natalia Polosmak.cite web
url=http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/2517siberian.html
title=Ice Mummies: Siberian Ice Maiden
publisher=PBS - NOVA
accessdate=2007-07-31
] [cite web
url=http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_2_7.html
title=Prehistoric Art - Early Nomads of the Altaic Region
publisher=The Hermitage Museum
accessdate=2007-07-31
] Three tattooed mummies (c. 300 BC) were extracted from the permafrost of the Ukok Plateau in the second half of the 20th century. [cite web
url=http://www.mmedia.nsu.ru/museum/Data/obj543/ENGLISH_INTERFACE_COLLECTION2.htm
title=Bronze collect at Novosibirsk State University - including Pazyryk
publisher=
accessdate=2006-11-30
]

It is recognized as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site entitled Golden Mountains of Altai as an important environmental treasure. It provides a habitat for many of the world's endangered species including one of its least studied predatory animals: the snow leopard. Other endangered species protected there include the Argali mountain sheep, the steppe eagle, and the Black Stork. [cite web
url=http://forests.org/archive/europe/sibsnowl.htm
title=Protect Snow Leopard Habitat / Siberia
publisher=forests.org
accessdate=2007-07-31
] Currently the Ukok Plateau is being threatened by plans for a gas pipeline between China and Russia. It is also being threatened by a proposal to build a road through it as well as overuse of the steppe by ranchers. [cite web
url=http://www.pacificenvironment.org/article.php?list=type&type=83
title=Altai: Saving the Pearl of Siberia
publisher=
accessdate=2006-11-30
]

The Ice Maiden and other archaeological finds were located just within a disputed strip of land between Russia and China. [cite web
author=Leigh Fenly
year=2004
month=December 8
url=http://www.archaeologynews.org/link.asp?ID=19703&Title=THREADS%20of%20old
title=Archaeology News
publisher=
accessdate=2007-11-27
] The residents of the Altai Republic are demanding the return of the burial artifacts from their current location in Novosibirsk. [cite web
year=2005
month=February 21
url=http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/14995_mummy.html
title=Minor nationality of Russia demands the return of "Princess of Ukok"
publisher=Pravda
accessdate=2007-11-27
]

Notes

References

*S.I. Rudenko, "Kul'tura naseleniia Gornogo Altaia v skifskoe vremia" ("The Population of the High Altai in Scythian Times")(Moscow and Leningrad, 1953) translated as "Frozen Tombs of Siberia: The Pazyryk Burials of Iron Age Horsemen", M.W. Thompson, tr. (University of California Press, Berkeley) 1970. ISBN 0-520-01395-6

External links

* [http://www.pacificenvironment.org/article.php?id=934 Greater Altai – Altai Krai, Republic of Altai, Tyva (Tuva), and Novosibirsk]
* [http://en.rian.ru/russia/20060705/50926770.html Gas pipeline route in south Siberia to be approved in August]
* [http://www.mmedia.nsu.ru/museum/Data/obj543/ENGLISH_INTERFACE_COLLECTION2.htm A collection at Novosibirsk State University site, including Pazyryk]


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