MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Russia and Swiss researchers will carry out a joint mission to explore a large burial mound in Siberia, which dates back to early Scythian times, President of the Russian Geographic Society Sergey Shoigu announced on Wednesday.
"Our Swiss counterparts, who have been exploring one of the many large burial mounds in the Valley of the Kings for three years, suggested that we start working together. So we decided to launch another environmental project in the next three to four years," Shoigu stated.
He pointed out that the project was interesting for many reasons. "One of the reasons, and the major one, is that, on the one hand, there are marshy areas, but on the other hand, there is also permafrost. Our Swiss counterparts believe that some organic substances could be preserved there," the Russian Geographic Society’s president said.
The Russian Geographic Society sources noted that the large burial mound in question, dating back to early Scythian times, had not been officially named yet.
Besides, according to Shoigu, the Russian Geographic Society would also create conditions for the systemic exploration of the area, which had become part of the flood zone during the construction of the Sayano-Shushenskoye Reservoir. He explained that the river formed a new bed in May and in the first half of June, when the water level in the reservoir subsided. "I believe that we should set up a permanent mission. Next year, we will try to ensure that the work proceeds in a more systemic way," Shoigu said adding that he referred to an area 270 to 300 kilometers long.
Sources in the Russian Geographic Society said that the ancient cultural heritage sites were in danger of destruction. The flood zone includes a part of Khakassia, the Yermakovsky District of the Krasnoyarsk Region and three districts in Tuva, where numerous ancient sites are located. According to the Society, only about 15% of these areas have been explored.