Archeologists appear to have discovered a forgotten legend in western Siberia, where they unearthed a uniquely preserved burial site for a mighty warrior slain in battle.
The body was discovered in a mound in the Omsk region dating back to the 11th or 12th century, local news site Omskinform.ru reported Thursday, citing archeologists.
When he died at about 40, the recently unearthed man stood at 1.8 meters tall — 25 centimeters above the average height of his descendants, the indigenous Khanty and Mansi peoples.
His right shoulder was smashed and his left arm severed, evidently in battle. The arm was preserved and buried alongside him.
The warrior was buried with a mask on his face, complete with a bear claw above the nose, as well as bronze tools and 25 war arrows — many of which were still sharp when discovered by archaeologists.
The unnamed giant was likely a warlord trained since childhood for a life of combat, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported, also citing archeologists.
The man's killers remain a mystery. The Ugric nations of Khanty and Mansi lacked a writing system until the 1930s.
Though Siberia was mostly colonized by the Russian Empire between the 16th and 18th centuries, its indigenous tribes offered more resistance than is commonly known.
The Chukchi people in the far-eastern tundra on the shores of the Arctic and the northern Pacific defied conquest for 150 years and were ultimately subdued through negotiations, not military effort.
And the Khanty, along with the neighboring Nenets, led one of the few ethnic uprisings against the Bolsheviks between 1931 and 1934, protesting the destruction of their traditional way of life.
With shamans encouraging their fight against the Bolsheviks, the rebels — numbering no more than 150 — resisted submission for three years in the harsh conditions of the tundra.