Friday, Aug 26 2016
All Cities
Choose Your City
'I've grown fat, got a tan & now look like a Siberian'
Vladimir Lenin, 1897, in Siberian exile

Female 'Amazon' warrior buried 2,500 years ago in Altai Mountains was... male

By The Siberian Times reporter
01 December 2015

New DNA findings alter the sex of one of most famous recent Siberian archeological finds of human remains.

Archeologists and anthropologists believed she was not only female - and a pig-tailed teenager - but a member of an elite corps of warriors within the Pazyryk culture. Picture: Marcel Nyffenegger, Natalia Polosmak

A Swiss taxidermy expert brought 'her' to life, recreating the 'virgin' warrior's looks from facial bones, and some observers commented on her distinctly masculine appearance. 

Yet archeologists and anthropologists believed she was not only female - and a pig-tailed teenager - but a member of an elite corps of warriors within the Pazyryk culture which suggested likenesses to the fabled Amazon warriors of known to the Greeks. 

Entombed next to a much older man - perhaps father and daughter? - the remains lay beside shields, battle axes, bows and arrowheads, while the warrior's physique indicated a skilled horse rider and archer.

Restored face


Grave adornments and face reconstruction

Some observers commented on her distinctly masculine appearance. Pictures: Marcel Nyffenegger, Natalia Polosmak and Elena Shumakova for Science First Hand 

Cowrie shells, amulets for female fertility but exceptionally rare in Pazyryk burials, were a tell-tale sign that this was a young woman, but so were various adornments to the grave -  for example, the 'coffin', the wooden pillow, the quiver, all smaller in comparison to usual male burials. In a singular honour, nine horses - four of them bridled - were buried with the skeleton, an escort to the afterlife.

But a major revamping is now underway. New DNA analysis indicates unequivocally that the remains were male and not female. 

The pioneering research was conducted by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Novosibirsk State University. 

Is this the face of an ancient Amazon female warrior?


Is this the face of an ancient Amazon female warrior?


Is this the face of an ancient Amazon female warrior?


Is this the face of an ancient Amazon female warrior?


Is this the face of an ancient Amazon female warrior?

Entombed next to a much older man - perhaps father and daughter? - the remains lay beside shields, battle axes, bows and arrowheads, while the warrior's physique indicated a skilled horse rider and archer. Pictures: Natalia Polosmak

This obtained 'reliable molecular genetic data' indicating that the supposed female warrior 'was male', according to a report released by Science First Hand co-authored by Dr Alexander Pilipenko, of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, and Dr Natalia Polosmak, of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography,  at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Novosibirsk.

The research also found that the relationship between the two people buried in the tomb at the Ak-Alakha 1 Mound 1 was not father and son but perhaps uncle and nephew. The cause of death of the pig-tailed ancient youth was not established. 

Is this the face of an ancient Amazon female warrior?


Is this the face of an ancient Amazon female warrior?


Is this the face of an ancient Amazon female warrior?


Is this the face of an ancient Amazon female warrior?

Swiss expert Marcel Nyffenegger was asked to recreate a likeness of the supposed female warrior for the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer, Germany. Pictures: Marcel Nyffenegger

The discovery of the remains was described in a 1994 book by Dr Polosmak as 'unique' because of the way the female skeleton was dressed in male clothing and buried with weapons.

Swiss expert Marcel Nyffenegger was asked to recreate a likeness of the supposed female warrior for the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer, Germany.

Working with a 3D model of the skull, he spent a month painstakingly piecing together her facial muscles and tissue layers as well as reconstructing her skin structure, eyes and expression.

The resulting Plasticine model was then covered with silicone and a rubber-resin mixture before finer details such as eyebrows and eyelashes were added. 

Please see our previous article about this remarkable burial.

Comments (19)

Tom ,Uk, guess we don't need to be fighting warriors to take control...Adam, Samson,etc etc
Delilah, Borneo
15/02/2016 06:19
7
0
For the person named tom, warrior women have existed in many cultures. Norse women warriors, indeed existed. So much so that is was part of their culture....
Lori S., Canada
15/02/2016 05:47
3
0
I´d like to know that person but if he/she was a warrior probably would cut my head off
Mauricio, Brazil
14/02/2016 03:39
0
0
@Gerry, Ireland

What are you talking about? There have been quite a few instances of women warriors in history, hell, the Syrian Army has women soldiers that fight.
Touka, US
14/02/2016 01:19
3
6
The first female Army Battlefield Engineer went on convalescence leave (mental/psychological) and never returned. She was AWOL and just designated a deserter. Female "warriors" indeed.
smookykins, New Kensington, PA
14/02/2016 00:40
5
3
Soon the pundits will be claiming with confidence that she was a proud trans woman!
Gerry, Ireland
13/02/2016 23:30
13
2
There have never been warrior women in any culture. All instances are one offs or myths or figureheads who didn't actually fight.

That goes for the modern military too. Token roles, politically manufactured positions that make no actual contribution beyond propaganda.

Women aren't warriors and they never have been.
Tom, UK
13/02/2016 22:17
13
13
The first "Bruce Jenner"
Vlad, Vladisvostok
17/01/2016 22:22
17
0
What's with the strange folds of flesh on the neck? Is Mr. Nyffenegger confusing Siberia with Innsmouth?
Max Colodi, USA
21/12/2015 10:44
5
1
Simply a soldiers Spartan type association...nothing unique
Frederick D., MILLSBORO Delaware, USA
11/12/2015 02:14
0
2
So when are you going to add a five o'clock shadow and make the eyebrows bushier?
Elisabeth, USA
03/12/2015 09:17
6
1
It seems to me that they were so determined this was a female that the reconstruction person made sure the finished product looked like a female. This situation also makes me wonder what other so called reconstructions of past projects were influenced by instead of actual science!
Crazyhair, Colorado/USA
02/12/2015 19:24
31
5
I always suspected that the males of "Amazons" types races .. were really always in those tribes but were just beautiful finer / and un-hairy men.


you know like those pretty guys in the Lord of the rings trilogy like in elfindale like how Orlando Bloom made up and many Native Americans have always being caucasian and asian crosses and make for some very pretty/ handsome fine and hairless men. also LIke Wodaabe but these are the black versions of fine male tri racials. . having lots of R male lineages and small amounts of caucasian and african male lines tribally.


so this find backs up that theory that not all hairless warriors were females. ;[
nanna, USA
02/12/2015 09:00
8
7
PELVIC SKELETAL EXAMINATION WOULD SURELY SOLVE THIS DEBATE.
MICHAEL CASTOR, MESA ,AZ
02/12/2015 07:50
25
1
Something smelling a little bit like a rat here... scientists in this age are too advanced to make gender errors. The story of the tattooed female ice mummy and warrior princess discovery seem strangely similar, they are possibly from the same clan but I doubt any are male...shall we not go with gut instinct here?
Carmen, Ireland
02/12/2015 06:50
15
21
12

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR73.21USD64.95GBP85.88Other...