The Siberian Princess
In the late 20 th Century, in 1993 in a kurgan of the Pazyryk culture in Republic of Altai, Russia, a mummy
of a woman from the 5 th century BC was found. It is regarded as one of the most significant Russian
archaeological findings. She was moved to a mausoleum at the Republican National Museum in Gorno-Altaisk.
So what’s so special about all this? Let’s find out.
The mummified remains of the ‘Ice Maiden’ were found undisturbed in a subterranean burial chamber.She was a Scytho-Siberian woman who lived on the Eurasian Steppes in the 5 th century BC. She was discovered by Natalia Polosmak and her team during the summer of 1993.
The ‘Ice Maiden’ or ‘Princess Ukok’ was a representative of the Pazyryk culture that thrived between the
6 th and 2 nd centuries BC in the Siberian Steppes.
She was buried with six horses around her, saddled and bridled, perhaps considered as her spiritual
escorts to the next world.
It is also a symbol of her evident social status. There was a meal of sheep and
horse meat too. Ornaments made from felt, wood, bronze, and gold was also found. Some accounts
state that a small container of cannabis along with a stone plate on which were burned seeds of coriander was also found inside.
The princess was immaculately dressed and was preserved in all her glory for several millennia in the
Siberian permafrost, a natural freezer. But what captured the minds of the archaeologists most are the beautiful and intricate tattoos found on her body. The tattoos on the left shoulder of the princess show
a fantastical mythological animal – a deer with a griffon’s beak and a Capricorn’s antlers.
Researchers and experts say that the princess died probably in her 20’s, more than 2500 years ago, making her five centuries older than Jesus Christ.
The actual reason for her death is unknown, but recent studies show that she may have suffered from breast cancer.