Touch Antiquity

Ancient people considered Altai to be a wonderful region, suitable for living, hunting, agriculture and rest.

The first man appeared in Altai about millions years ago and is called homo erectus. The finds in Tsarskiy Kurgan (Tsar's burial mound) are the evidence of it. Glaciers covered large territories and people settled in cold steppes and orests. Nomad way of life turfed out people from one place to another. Climatic storms, birth and destruction of mountains-nothing stopped people, they returned to Altai again and again. The tools of Palaeolithic period was found in Altai, sites were opened which are dated to tens thousands of years. Climatic storms, birth and destruction of mountains, nothing stopped people: they returned in Altai again and again

The remoteness of Altai helped to preserve a lot of monuments of ancient cultures.

Burial Mounds

There are a lot of burial mounds in Altai Kray. Ancient burials, buildings for dead chieftains, priests, warriors, were erected under the ground. Following the tradition of ancient nations after the death of a person he was accomponied by the members of his family, horses, weapon, other things of value. Altai is not the exception.

During excavations it was found the evidence of weapons mastery of people, their knowledge in the sphere of architecture and building. These elements give the information about traditions and rites.

One of the most beautiful burial mounds is Altai-Tsarskiy which is situated not far from village Sentelek. It was established in the fifth century B.C.. it is one of the largest Pizirskiy burial mounds of Altai, their diameter is about 46 meters and its height is 2 meters. There are also famous burial mounds Berezovaya Luka in Aleiskiy district, Tret'yakovskiy burial mound, Krasnoshchekovskiy burial mound in suburb of Novoaltaisk.


The most famous cave in Altai Kray is Denisova cave. Neanderthal men lived there 140 to 12 thousands years ago. The cave became famous by its unique find of archaeologists- remains of unknown type of ancient people. It is added to the Memory of the World Register of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).The cave is located on the border of Soloneshenskiy district with Altai Republic.

Tavdinskiye caves are situated not far from tourist's zone "Biruzovaya Katun'". Entrances in the caves are in rocks which are accessible for tourists.

Krasnoshchekovskiy district is famous for a big number of caves. More than 100 mountain cavities were found there. The sites of ancient men were discovered in caves Zagonnaya, Vodyanaya, Bastion. Khankharinskie caves save its secrets. Silver, copper, lead were extracted in the only ore-cave of Altai Novochagyrskaya cave.

Museums Of Archaeology And Study Of Local Lore

Archaeologists' finds can be observed in the Museum of Altai Kray. Bones of eight-month mammoth, skulls of bisons, wooly rhinoceros, deers with big antlers, tusks of mammoth.

There were also found large stone tools of the Old Palaeolithic times. A lot of reconstructions were created in the museum: paired burial of man and woman, burial of Afanasievskaya archaeological culture.

The Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography in Altai State University has more than 640 collections. There are a lot of exhibits- artefacts of different historic periods: from the Middle Palaeolith to the Middle Ages. The museum has a rich anthropological collection including skulls with artificial deformation and trepanation.

Practically all regional museums have finds of archaeologists, which is the evidence of the rich history of Altai and serious work of scientists and enthusiasts.

Interest To Archaeology Grows

Andrey Romanov, the senior scientific collaborator of the University of Water and Ecological Problems of Russian Academy of Science:

From year to year more and more tourists aim at visiting of archaeological monuments. For example, about 100 cars on weekends  come to Denisov's cave in summer. People from Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk and Altai Kray come to visit it. The peak of visit is usually from Friday to Sunday.

Spearhead, Symbol Of Power Was Found In Kalmanskiy District

Spearhead was found in blasted burial place in the Bronze Age. "It is a unique find for Altai Kray, - says archaeologist, the senior scintific collaborator of the department of archaeology "Heritage", the Candidate of Historical Sciences Yaroslav Frolov. The spearhead is dated to the middle of the second millennium B.C and relates to Seima-Turbino type... Its originality is in the fact that such spearheads were very rare in the Bronze period: it is the second case in Altai, there are not more than 20 such finds in Russia." According to specialists such spreadheads were the symbol of high social status. Perhaps thew were the symbol of chief's power.

Ancient People Were Dandies

Altai archaeologists found 500 fragments of golden decorations.

They were found in one of the ancient burial places in Shipunovskiy district. The decorations represented thin petals from golden foils.

Unique find was discovered in Rubtsovskiy district-well preserved mummy of Scythian period, which age is estimated around 2300 years. Even manicure was saved on the right hand of a woman.