This paper deals with early Scythian precious metal technology, more precisely with the manufacture of the gold jewellery and ornamented weapons buried in the kurgan (burial mound) of Arzhan 2 in the north of the Republic of Tuva, in Siberia.One kurgan of this important Scythian royal necropolis was fully excavated from 2000 to 2003 as part of a German-Russian research program, headed by Hermann Parzinger and Anatoli Nagler (German Archaeological Institute, Berlin), as well as by Konstantin Chugunov (State Hermitage, Saint Petersburg) (Chugunov , 2003; Menghin and Parzinger, 2007).5, a man and a woman, were literary covered with gold.
These soils are characterized by the increased acidity of the surface horizons (p H 4.3) and the development of lessivage.
Data on the coefficients of mineral weathering in the buried paleosols and background surface soils attest to the identical precipitation both for the surface and buried soils in the Middle and Late Holocene.
The construction of the Volga–Kama cascade of water reservoirs and hydroelectric power stations in the middle of the 20th century resulted in the inundation of vast areas and the development of abrasion along the shores that threatens many monuments of the archaeological and cultural heritage.
The soils buried under northernmost kurgans of the Lugovskaya culture dating back to the 15th–14th centuries BC (kurgan Komintern I) were studied on the surface of the second terrace of the Kama River near its confluence with the Volga River.
Finally, iron weapons decorated with gold and silver inlay, such as daggers, knives, arrow-heads and a battle-axe form yet another category of these precious grave goods.