From the depths of Russia’s “Atlantis” — a famed archaeological site in southern Siberia that lies underwater for most of the year — archaeologists emerged with what looks like a like a jewel-studded case for an iPhone.
But the black rectangle, which measures about 7 inches (18 centimeters) long and around 4 inches (9 cm) wide, is no electronics accessory; it’s an ancient belt buckle made of jet — a gemstone made from pressurized wood — inlaid with small beads of mother-of-pearl, carnelian and turquoise, The Siberian Times reported.
Scientists with the Institute for the History of Material Culture at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) found the object in a woman’s grave, where it lay upon the skeleton’s pelvis. The researchers nicknamed the woman “Natasha” and dubbed the artifact “Natasha’s iPhone,” according to The Siberian Times.
The grave that held the so-called iPhone lies in the Siberian territory of Tuva, near the border of Mongolia. There, archaeologists identified two burial sites — Terezin and Ala-Tey — dating to the Xiongnu period around 2,000 years ago, according to a study co-authored by Leus and published in 2018 in the journal Asian Archaeology.