In the frozen steppes of the Altay, a Franco-Mongolian archeological expedition prepares to excavate the tomb of an Eastern Scythian warrior, 2 300 years old. Their ritual practice of deep burial of the dead, in combination with extreme climatic conditions, may mean that these scientists will discover the last frozen tombs on the planet, and will elucidate the mysteries surrounding this Scythian horseman.
Who was he? How did he live? How did he die? This investigation will enable new light to be shed on this forgotten civilization.
Alongside the excavations, a family of Kazakh nomads have set up their summer camp, attracted by the unusual activity. Striking similarities appear between the lifestyles and practices of these Kazakhs and the Eastern Scythians, two millennia apart in time.
Intertwined with the archeological research is thus a fascinating ethno-archeological study, of one of the last peoples still isolated from modernity, and their possible very ancient ancestors. But for the Kazakhs too, the question arises - how long will they survive in their isolation?
Direction: Cédric Robion
Production: AGAT Films & Cie for ARTE France
Available versions: French, English