Wednesday, Feb 28 2024
All Cities
Choose Your City
'The greatest rail adventure in the world, the Trans-Siberian train journey'

1,000 year old Persian cup unearthed in remote region of Arctic Russia

By 0 and 0 and 0
24 August 2016


'The cultural layer was eroded by wind and we found the fragment of the cup.' Picture: Press-service YANAO

The find of the fragment of the medieval bronze cup - from modern-day Iran - was made by scientists on an expedition to monitor permafrost on the Gydan Peninsula for the first time in a quarter of a century. 

The discovery was made close to the Kara Sea, the furthest north such an artifact has been found. 

Andrei Gusev, senior researcher from the Centre for Arctic Studies, said: 'Archaeological studies of the area around Lake Parisento and the Yuribei River, located beyond the Arctic Circle, have resulted in surprise finds such as a bronze Iranian cup dated to the Middle Ages.


The expedition studied a 30 kilometre area near Lake Parisento. Picture: The Siberian Times

'Artifacts from this era have been found in West Siberia before, but never so far in the northeast, let alone in the Arctic. The exact age of the cup will be determined after further studies.'

Wind erosion in an area where permafrost is melting helped to reveal the cup.

'It was a 'random find': that is, there was obviously some camp here, people spent some time at this place, and then left. And the cup was left here for some reason. 

'The cultural layer was eroded by wind and we found the fragment of the cup with a ceramic vessel and a bronze knife handle.' 

Persian bronze cup

Persian bronze cup

'Artifacts from this era have been found in West Siberia before, but never so far in the northeast, let alone in the Arctic.' Pictures: Tatyana Konstantinova 

The turquoise-coloured cup was probably brought to northern Siberia some 200 years after it was made, which is estimated to be in the 10th or 11th centuries AD.

Scientist Dr Arkady Baulo, from Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Novosibirsk, said: 'From the 6th and 7th centuries AD Central Asian merchants began to appear in the Upper Kama region. They exported walrus tusks, hunting birds and fur from the north. Through the Kama region they had penetrated to the Ob region in 7th and 8th centuries.'

The Persian items brought by traders took on ritual meanings for the native Khanty and Mansy peoples. They were kept in holy places and were seen as gifts to gods and spirits. 

Dish from Synya river

Nildin dish

Silver Sassanian dish found on river Synya, dated back 4 - 5 centuries AD (top). Nildin dish, made in Middle Asia in 8 - early 9 centuries AD (bottom). Pictures: Arkady Baulo

Dishes were used to serve ceremonial food for the gods during the festivals. The pictures show the latest finds but also other Persian discoveries in Russia. 

The expedition studied a 30 kilometre area near Lake Parisento.

Scientists  installed monitoring equipment for permafrost studies, and compared the data they recorded with information that was collected in the same location 25 years ago. 

Khant holy place. Silver plate with a depiction of King David and sacrificial food, made in 8th century AD. Picture: Arkady Baulo

Ancient dish used in a rite

Comments (2)

Persian Empire according to world record is greatest Empire in whole world history with 43% of world pop started from siberia to Ethiopia and India to balkan also Darius the great and his so in 3 ancient scripture clearly declare : i am persian , son of persian , an aryan from aryan stock also this is sassanid second Persian Empire and so much after EAST Iranian Scythian immigreted to East Europe
khosro shohani, Ilam Iran
23/12/2017 05:24
First of all - I like very much the Siberian Times, in special the Science and Mysteries Section, because russians think unconventional and likely more truthful and authentic about cases that are unusual.

To this article:

We must change the term "Persians" into Aryans, folks! Everybody that is informed knows also, that Iran means "Land of the Aryans". So - the aryan nomad Skythians had much contacts to the aryan nomad "Persians", ok?

The Aryans also lived in the Taklamakan Desert, in India, in Kashmir, and later then emigrated to the Caucasus and whole Europe. The theory that Europeans emigrated to Asia first is wrong. They went back in parts long time after their settlement in Europe.

Greets from germany!

Blind Old Man, Hamburg, Germoney
05/10/2016 21:32

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy



Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory



The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies