A pyramid structure dating back more than 3,000 years has been revealed during excavations in the vast steppes of Central Asia. Archaeologists uncovered the monument along the banks of the Taldy River in the Karaganda region of central Kazakhstan.
The pyramid, now known as the Pyramid of Karazhartas, was built by the Begazy-Dandibay culture. This civilization once thrived during the Late Bronze Age and consisted of semi-sedentary communities that made their living off of metalworking and raising livestock.
Due to the metal trade that stretched across Eurasia, the communities were able to reach a high level of economic prosperity, which led to the creation of a new aristocratic class in the Begazy-Dandibay society.
According to historian Serhan Cinar and an archaeologist involved with the project, Aybar Kasenali, the pyramid of Karazhartas was constructed as a mausoleum for a member of this aristocratic class.
Researchers from the Sary Arka Archaeological Expedition of Karaganda University were responsible for the groundbreaking excavations. They found that the grand structure was a square pyramidal mausoleum with step-like layers.
The mausoleum also contains a burial chamber and measures approximately 65 feet by 98 feet. It reaches a height of about five feet at its peak.
“The newly discovered Karazhartas stepped pyramidal mausoleum is the largest burial structure of the Begazy-Dandibay elite,” said Cinar.
He also pointed out that the construction of such a complex, colossal structure during the Bronze Age, especially in a very arid land, is a reflection of the advanced artistic achievements and deep spiritual beliefs of the Begazy-Dandibay society.
Further investigations into the interior of the pyramid have led to the discovery of a sarcophagus structure in the burial chamber. The sarcophagus was surrounded by granite stones. When researchers opened it up, they found the skull of a local ruler.