They must appease the spirit and rebury the remains

What is this, Scooby Doo? A fantastic archaeological find must be sacrificed due to local superstitious-based outcry.

Kazakhstan to Rebury Ancient Warlord, Fearing ‘Curse’ | World | RIA Novosti.

Ever heard about the curse of the pharaohs? Well, how about the curse of a 2,500-year-old chief of a nomadic Scythian tribe that brings about floods, droughts, livestock decimation and high atmospheric pressure?

Though the curse of the pharaohs has repeatedly been debunked as myth, the Scythian curse is very real, say locals in a remote area of eastern Kazakhstan where the chieftain’s remains were discovered – and where they will be reinterred this weekend to appease his spirit, to the chagrin of archeologists.

A spate of unfortunate incidents has been linked to the excavation of the mound – a clear case superstitious correlation (not causation) as the locals have had to deal with “floods, a drought, a mass loss of livestock and an increase in births of children with learning disabilities,’ notes the local news – all incidents which have multiple and various natural causes.

Archaeologists are giving into the superstition and reburying the Golden Man. The article notes this is not the first time they have done that.

Last year, residents in the town of Karabulak sacrificed a white camel to stop a “suicide epidemic” allegedly instigated by the devil.

What should the local government do when faced with a superstitious population that would rather concede to magical supernatural causes rather than face up to genuine, complicated and hard to solve real-world problems? Well, they might stop giving in for starters and consider that some better relations with the locals may be necessary. This is a shame that it will no longer be displayed. It’s spectacular.

The Sun Emperor or Golden Man of Kazakhstan. (Wikimedia commons)

The Sun Emperor or Golden Man of Kazakhstan. (Wikimedia commons)

Check out this related story about the unacceptability of archaeological finds from last year.

Altai Leader Claims Earthquake 'Mummy’s Revenge' | STRANGE BUT TRUE | RIA Novosti.

Tip: Eve Siebert

  5 comments for “They must appease the spirit and rebury the remains

  1. Chris Howard
    June 29, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    I always thought these kinds of “curses” were a bit of a let down.

    Wouldn’t powerful supernatural curses generate unmistakeable supernatural wrath? Like the undead minions rising from their graves to exact revenge.

    Instead we get more rain, or less rain, or learning disabilities. I mean seriously you would think that a dying kings curse would be something a little less mundane than “Beware! Lest your children be cursed with low self-esteem, difficulty reading, and or problems in math! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!”

  2. June 29, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Over/under for how long until it’s grave-robbed?

  3. Graham
    June 30, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    The whole story reminds me of tales of people taking rocks from ‘sacred sites’ (Sometimes actual native sacred sites or ones identified as such by ‘new agers’.)

    The person who takes the rock blames all subsequent problems on the rock and once the rock is returned all the problems stop. It’s an obvious case of confirmation bias.

  4. June 30, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    You can’t know if excavation of the remains caused the problems or not until you carry out a randomized control trial!

  5. Thayes
    July 1, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    It sounds like it’s a different “golden man” than the pictured one being reburied. The pictured fellow was discovered in 1970 and this sounds like a more recent discovery. Still a shame, but I’d bet that they’re just re-interring the body rather than any artifacts. Or at least I hope so!

Comments are closed.