Ukok – the greatest monument of Pazyryk Culture
Of the greatest interest are the monuments of Pazyryk Culture discovered on the Ukok plateau. It is in Kosh-Agach district. The plateau is extremely rich in archaelogical objects. There are tens of cemeteries with hundreds of barrows. Most of them are the structures with a diameter of 15 meters, which probably belonged to ordinary members of the Pazyryk community. Only some kurgans on the plateau have diameter of about 30 meters. Two of them – Kuturguntas and Ak-Alakha-4 were excavated.
In 1993, on the Ukok Plateau, archaeologists made a sensational discovery that made numerous burials of the plateau priceless historical heritage of global relevance. The unique burials of a man and a woman were found in the Pazyryk mound «Ak-Alakha». There graves were arranged so that the woman’s was under the man’s. The woman was dressed in a silk shirt and woolen skirt. Her headwear was a complicated structure made of her own hair and horsehair, felt, wool, and wood. The woman’s body was mummified. To mummify they used mercury and grass grown on the Ukok Plateau. The horse burials contained the unique gilded wooden figures of griffons and anthropomorphic figures.
Another grave containing a mummified corpse of a young man was found in the second mound. His hairdo, weaponry, and houseware were preserved. Astonishing attributes of garment found in the grave chamber are hats, knee-high boots of felt, woven pants and a gorgeous sheepskin coat with a «tail». Among the investigated monuments of the plateau especially remarkable is the mound Ak – Alakha-2. It is a complicated architectural structure with walkways with deer stones and with a common burial place in the centre, containing the remains of several people and horses.
Most of the investigated petroglyphs located on Ukok belong to the early period of the Pazyryk time. In total, 55 petroglyphic sites were discovered here.