This is the first picture of how a stylish ‘ancient Egyptian’ necklace was discovered in the heart of Siberia.
Made of brightly coloured laminated glass, the priceless jewellery was found gracing the neck of a 25 year old woman in a remote burial mound in the Altai Mountains.
Scientists say she died between 2,300 and 2,400 years ago and was a kinswoman of the famous tattooed ‘Princess Ukok’ (see more about her here), whose astonishing body artwork preserved in the permafrost has led to worldwide interest.
In fact, while it has been nicknamed ‘Cleopatra’s Necklace’, the highly-coloured necklace pre-dates the exotic last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and originates around the time that Alexander the Great dominated the world from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas.
The 17-bead necklace is fully intact and completely unique in the former Soviet Union.
Archeologists say it throws startling new light on the level of civilisation in Siberia in the Scythian epoch.
'What we have found is of much more than local importance' - said Professor Andrey Borodovsky, 53, of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
'We might want to ask for our foreign colleagues's expertise on the chemical composition of the glass, the necklace's origin and the exact date it was made'.