Altai Mountains Hide the Scythians Culture!

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People call the Russian parts of the Altai Mountains the Golden Mountains because they hide the world heritage of the past, where remains of ancient culture of the Scythians reflect through invaluable remains.

Altai means "Golden Mountain". The name is in Turkic as Alytau or Altai. The starting "Al" means gold and the ending "tau" or "tai" means mount. and the given name reflects appropriately to describe an area that contains invaluable nature and a great cultural value.

The following article is about these mountains in Russia, their cultural importance and the affect of global changes on the area. Environmental sources say, after the projected temperature rise, all the golden past will sweep away.

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Altai Mountains, Golden Mountains, Russia, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan

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Altai Mountains lie along the southern Siberian steppe in Central Asia where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan converge in boundaries. Mount Belukha is the highest peak of the Altai Mountains in eastern Kazakhstan

They expand for almost 1,200 miles and they are the highest mountains in Siberia. The highest peak in the mountain range, Belukha reaches 15,157 feet high.

Altai Mountains rise where Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan meet. The Russian side of the mountain range is on the UNESCO's World Heritage List because of the diversity of vegetation, which varies from steppe to mixed forest to alpine vegetation.

The Altai Natural Reserve, along with Mount Belukha, Lake Teletskye, Ukok Plateau and Katun Natural Reserve occupy 16,178 square kilometres of the area.

The mountains are the source of many rivers such as the Ob River, Katun River, Yenisei River, Belokurikha River, Lena River and the Irtysh River in Russia and the Buhtarma River in Kazakhstan.

River Biya begins from Lake Kutsherla in Altai Mountains and runs near Kebezen town, Biysk town; in the Biysk Region of Altai, the last station the train reaches and Sorokino (named Crasnodon in 1938); the centre of coal mining in Donbass.

Through the Sayan Mountain in the east, it extends to the southeast and then becomes lower to merge in the high plateau in the Gobi Desert.

The Scythians occupied the lands that stretched from the Black Sea to the Mongolian Plain. They lived as peasants and warriors and fought against rival tribes with their notorious poison arrows with barbs. Women, probably young and unmarried, fought alongside the men and wore the same clothes.

In the Altai Mountains in Central Asia, you will find the 20-metre high funeral sites so-called Kurgan, which lies along the southern Siberian steppe.

Some armaments used by the nomads in the Altai Mountains area during the first century BC were found in 2005.

The archaeologists in Russia have found in 2007 remains of a warrior related to 2000 years back in history in the permafrost of the Altai Mountains.

As the only frozen tombs in the world's permafrost preserved kurgans in their original state. The graves testify to the Scythian tribes, a horse-riding nomadic people who dominated the Eurasian steppes in the first millennium BC.

Studies of Kurgan-graves have revealed gold arty-facts, weapons, animal sacrifices and sometimes human sacrifices, which were preserved in perfect condition.

Organic materials such as silk, wool, leather and mummified human bodies were intact. In one tomb, archaeologists found a beautiful tattooed corpse of a woman wearing a silk blouse, which was later nicknamed "The Ice Maiden".

The key to the Scythians culture lies in the golden mountains frozen graves. Many of kurgans are located in an area the permafrost, which makes them highly vulnerable to rising temperatures.

In the past 100 years, temperatures rose between 1º and 2º C. In the middle of this century, it is expected that temperatures will even rise more frequently to higher levels, which will probably result in a significant reduction in the permafrost.

Many species are endangered in this condition among them are the snow leopard, black stork, golden eagle, snow cock and the wild cheep of the Altai.

If the permafrost melts, a unique cultural heritage will also disappear.

Useful Resources

Endemic Plants of the Altai Mountain Country (Destination Guides)



Landforms of Altai Republic: Lakes of Altai Republic, Rivers of the Altai Republic, Lake Teletskoye, Lake Cheybek-Kohl, Katun River

This is a reference to Lakes of Altai Republic, Rivers of the Altai Republic, Lake Teletskoye, Lake Cheybek-Kohl, Katun River, Bashkaus River, Chebdar River, Biya River, Chulyshman River, Charysh River, Chuya River.

Ob River: Siberia, Altai Krai, Gulf of Ob, Katun River, Irtysh River, Estuary, Barnaul

The Ob River also Obi, is a major river in western Siberia, Russia. It is the country's fourth longest. The Ob River also has the longest estuary in the world. The Ob is formed 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Biysk in Altai Krai by the confluence of the Biya and Katun rivers.

Both these streams have their origin in the Altay Mountains, the Biya issuing from Lake Teletskoye, the Katun, 80 miles (130 km) long, bursting out of a glacier on Mount Byelukha.

The Ob zigzags west and north until it reaches 55° N, where it curves round to the northwest, and again north, wheeling finally eastwards into the Gulf of Ob, a 600-mile (970 km)-long bay of the Kara Sea, which adjoins the Arctic Ocean.




In addition to Altai Mountains in Russia, there are some other beautiful places in this great country such as Bering Sea, Lake Baikal, Siberia and Yamal Peninsula. You can comment or write about any of those beautiful places on the pages above and get more gifts.

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