200 Stone Horsemen of Uknown Origin Discovered in Kashmir

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An expedition led by Natalia Polosmak, the Russian archaeologist notable for having discovered the Siberian Ice Maiden, has made a spectacular find in Kashmir.

The find was announced on October 12th by the state-run news agency RIA Novosti. Details haven’t filtered down to many English-language outlets yet, so I’ll excerpt the article as translated by Google.


“Two ritual complexes were found here, it is far and high in the mountains, where it is not easy to get there.” About 200 stone horsemen were found in the sanctuary, and their specificity is that sometimes not one person, but two, three or four people sit on a horse. That is, it is the embodiment of some mysteries and myths that are yet to be read: all these sculptures are voluminous, richly decorated with carvings, “Molodin said.


“It seems that everything has been known in India for a long time, but in fact, these things have been found for the first time.” There is no publication on this, and the scientific community first learned about it. “The find shows that not everything is known to us on the planet. will have to be studied, “the scientist said.

Molodin said that according to the assessment of the head of the expedition Natalia Polosmak, the sculptures belong to the era of the early Middle Ages, that is, the beginning of our era. This is indicated by the decoration of horses and other details. “But what kind of population is this is a big problem, because there was nothing like it in the iconography in India before, it’s some kind of population that suddenly appeared in the Himalayas, settled in hard-to-reach areas and left such a trace,” expert.

 

The comments come from Vyacheslav Molodin, deputy director of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS). It’s noted that at both sites, there are sources of water as well as accompanying stone structures for which no additional details are given.

They’re identifying the sites as “ritual complexes” (of course) and dating them to 5th century CE based on decoration of the horses and “other details” which aren’t mentioned. And here’s where the “unknown origin” part of my title comes in:

“But what kind of population is this is a big problem, because there was nothing like it in the iconography in India before, it’s some kind of population that suddenly appeared in the Himalayas, settled in hard-to-reach areas and left such a trace,”

Interestingly, the statues depict multiple riders per horse. From those I can see in the pictures, there appear to be three on each horse. Also worth noting is that many but not all are missing their heads. You can also make out parts of a wall and other structures in one of the pictures along with some large rectangular carved stones — one still standing and another on its side.

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