Giant ramparts guarded Altai Mountains against attack from the north, says leading archeologist Professor Andrey Borodovsky.
The wall complex – now almost hidden to the naked eye – is believed to date from a long era that also saw such constructions as the Great Wall of China and Hadrian’s Wall.
Concealed under thick layers of turf are huge stones put in place by ancient man, says the scientist.
Six rows of a parallel wall system limited access to the Altai Mountain complex from the north via the valley of the Katun River.
It is not known who built the giant ramparts.
Their width is a substantial ten metres with an impressive height of up to eight metres.
‘To the east of these walls is a fairly wide passage, which is limited at the mountainside by another series of walls, oriented west-east across the Katun valley,’ he said.
There are nine walls adjacent to the mountain slope.
Professor Andrey Borodovsky said: ‘These walls were clearly made to cut off crowds of people, and make them go through a narrow passage in the direction chosen by the creators of the (construction).’
In this way access from the steppes to the mountains – the home of ancient civilisations, for example of the Pazyryk people – could be controlled.