19th century Russian soldier found inside unearthed coffin in Turkey’s Ardahan was captain: Museum director
KARSA museum director in the eastern province of Kars has said the Russian soldier whose skeleton was found inside an unearthed coffin in the neighboring Ardahan province was a captain, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Kars Museum Director Necmettin Alp said the captain had probably served during the Russian invasion of Kars and Ardahan following the 1877-1878 Ottoman-Russian War.
“The person inside the coffin is a Russian captain on duty at a Russian garrison in Ardahan because there are three stars on his uniform, along with the number 20. That might be his register number,” Alp said.
He added that the skeleton was brought for storage inside the museum and they would subsequently present a report to the Culture Ministry on the corpse.
A coffin initially thought to belong to a Russian general was unearthed during foundation excavations for a construction project in Ardahan.
Archaeologist Ünver Solaklıoğlu had said the coffin likely belonged to a Russian general who lived after 1878, based on the fact that Russians were settled there at the time.
Hundreds of locals flocked to the construction area to view the coffin and the skeleton after reports circulated on social media, amid rumors that gold and valuable historical artifacts were unearthed at the scene.