Archaeologists from Krasnoyarsk made a series of unique finds on Taimyr. Some of them may be traces of ancient inhabitants of the Arctic — the legendary Sikhirtya people, whose memory is preserved only in myths among modern northern peoples, as the specialists of “Krasnoyarsk geo-archeology” told TASS.
“These are the easternmost monuments of western cultures, which were distributed in Yamal, along the entire coast of the Arctic Ocean and which are associated with the legendary Sikhirtya people. Information about them is contained in Nenets legends. Their distinctive feature is that they lived in the ground. In the Makarov Bay we found a frame-and-earth construction and a lot of tools, including ones made of a mammoth tusk. It dates back to the XIV century, [the results] of radiocarbon analysis came recently from California”, the director of “Krasnoyarsk geo-archaeology” Danil Lysenko told TASS.
According to Lysenko, the inhabitants of the settlement in the Makarov Bay hunted polar bears, seals and sea hares. This is the only known settlement of ancient people on Taimyr that is not associated with wild reindeer hunting.
There is also an ancient sacred place in the Makarov Bay, where the ancient inhabitants of these areas sacrificed paws and heads of bears, deer, and wings of birds on a steep rock.
“It was rather ancient and archaic ritual, apparently, Nenets people adopted it from previous population – Sikhirtya people”, said Lysenko.
In their myths Nenets people describe Sikhirtya as not tall people with light hair and eyes, who live inside “hills” (sopki), pasture “ground deer” (mammoths), ride dogs, catch fish, are busy with blacksmithing and come to the surface only at night. They are strong shamans, sometimes become related to local peoples. Doors at home of Sikhirtya are labeled with a tusk of a mammoth. Such a detailed folkloristic image allows the scientists to assume that there were the people in the Arctic that were the predecessors of nomadic reindeer herders.