Ancient ‘birdman’ found buried with costume made of beaks in 5000-year-old grave

An ancient 'birdman' has been unearthed from a 5,000-year-old grave wearing a costume made of up to 50 beaks.

The beaks of herons or cranes found at the Ust-Tartas archeological site in Novosibirsk, Russia, appear to have been part of the clothing of the prehistoric figure.

Researcher Lilia Kobeleva, from the Novosibirsk Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, believes they could have belonged to a shaman – a person thought to have access to the world of good and evil spirits.

In a separate nearby grave archeologists found an extraordinary pair of 'Bronze Age spectacles' lying next to a skull.

The "sensational finds" among other prehistoric treasures are believed to come from the Odinov culture which was prevalent around the Ishim River in western Siberia.

Yet the discoveries do not match previous artefacts from these ancient people, say intrigued archeologists.

The beaks were thought to resemble those of a monster in the 2004 psychological thriller movie The Village directed by filmmaker M Night Shyamalan.

Kobeleva said: "The beaks were assembled at the back of the skull, along the neck, as if it was a collar that protected the owner when he lived here."

They may have been an integral part of a ritual costume or an elaborate headdress or armour.

"Close to the ‘Birdman’ burial, the team of archeologists found a double-layered grave with two children aged approximately five and ten buried on top,” reported The Siberian Times .

Below this prehistoric tomb was an adult man's skull lying next to a pair of what appear to be spectacles – two bronze hemispheres and a bridge.

Like the birdman outfit, these may have been worn by an ancient shaman, perhaps to help him see the spirit world.

Kobeleva said: "These are unique items, (and) we are very excited indeed to have found them.

"Both men must have carried special roles in the society.

"I say so because we have been working on this site for a while and unearthed more than 30 burials.

"They all had interesting finds, but nothing we found earlier was as impressive as discoveries in these two graves.

"We suppose both men were some kind of priests."

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