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Fresh demands for tattooed princess to be reburied in final resting place

By The Siberian Times reporter
26 May 2015

Elders claim mummy's absence has caused natural disasters and send new petition to Kremlin after first snub from Putin.

Thought to be about 25 years old when she died, she was found preserved in permafrost at an altitude of about 2,500 metres, with two men also discovered nearby. Picture: Vera Salnitskaya

Elders in the region where a tattooed princess was found preserved in permafrost have re-sent a petition to Vladimir Putin demanding she be immediately reinterred.

More than 22,000 people across the Altai Republic – 10 per cent of the population – signed a special 150-metre-long piece of canvas calling for the mummified remains put back in her final resting place.

They say that since her removal the area has been hit by a series of natural disasters and insist a reburial would 'stop her anger that caused floods and earthquakes'.

Ancient beliefs dictate that her presence in the burial chamber had been to 'bar the entrance to the kingdom of the dead'. Scientists say she lived more than 2,500 years ago, meaning she was alive five centuries before the birth of Christ.

Ukok mummy to be buried


Ukok mummy to be buried


Ukok mummy to be buried

More than 22,000 people across the Altai Republic – 10 per cent of the population – signed a special 150-metre-long piece of canvas calling for the mummified remains put back in her final resting place. Pictures: IA Regnum

Akai Kine, the zaisan (leader) of the Teles ethnic group, and president of the Spiritual Centre of the Turks Kin Altai, had sent the petition to the Russian President last year but decided to reissue it after hearing nothing back from the Kremlin.

It is also being forwarded to the head of the Altai Republic Alexander Berdnikov and the leadership of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

He said: 'Residents of Altai Republic are asking Vladimir Putin to rebury the body of the princess according to human traditions, taking into account the interests of science, in the sarcophagus at the site of her original burial. 

'Scientists will still be able to extract the body of the mummy from the tomb, if it’s necessary to carry out any research.'

In their letter to Mr Putin, the elders claim that scientists have a positions of disrespect to the citizens of the republic and the indigenous population.

Mausoleum for Ukok princess


Ukok mummy mausoleum

'Residents of Altai Republic are asking Vladimir Putin to rebury the body of the princess according to human traditions, taking into account the interests of science, in the sarcophagus at the site of her original burial.' Pictures: Spiritual Centre of the Turks Kin Altai

They add: 'We, the people of the Republic of Altai, do not want to be like children standing beside the body of our mother, and dividing, whose mother she is more.'

The tattooed mummy was excavated by Novosibirsk scientist Natalia Polosmak in 1993 and was heralded as 'one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century'.

Thought to be about 25 years old when she died, she was found preserved in permafrost at an altitude of about 2,500 metres, with two men also discovered nearby.

Known as Princess Ukok, buried around her were six horses, saddled and bridled and said to have been her spiritual escorts to the next world.

Archaeologists also found ornaments made from felt, wood, bronze and gold as well as a small container of cannabis and a stone plate on which coriander seeds were burned. From her clothes and possessions including a 'cosmetics bag', scientists were able to recreate her fashion and beauty secrets.

Tattoed 2,500 year old Siberian princess 'to be reburied to stop her posthumous anger which causes floods and earthquakes'


Tattoed 2,500 year old Siberian princess 'to be reburied to stop her posthumous anger which causes floods and earthquakes'


Tattoed 2,500 year old Siberian princess 'to be reburied to stop her posthumous anger which causes floods and earthquakes'


Tattoed 2,500 year old Siberian princess 'to be reburied to stop her posthumous anger which causes floods and earthquakes'

Once her body is finally returned to Altai, the local elders have plans to build a special mausoleum at her burial ground, on the pristine grasslands of the Ukok plateau. Pictures: Alexander Tyryshkin

Her head was completely shaved, and she wore a horse hair wig on top of which was a carving of a wooden deer. The princess's face and neck skin was not preserved, but the skin of her left arm survived.

But the most exciting discovery was her elaborate body art, which many observers said bore striking similarities to modern-day tattoos.

On her left shoulder was a fantastical mythological animal made up of a deer with a griffon’s beak and a Capricorn’s antlers. The antlers themselves were decorated with the heads of griffons.

The mouth of a spotted panther with a long tail could also be seen, and she had a deer’s head on her wrist.

Her remains spent most of the past two decades at a scientific institute in Novosibirsk, and are now at the Republican National Museum in Gorno-Altaisk. They have been treated by the same scientists who preserved the body of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin.

Once her body is finally returned to Altai, the local elders have plans to build a special mausoleum at her burial ground, on the pristine grasslands of the Ukok plateau.

Comments (7)

To steal the remains of anyone is a shameful act. The people who did this have no respect. They have no mother or father and are shame itself.
Pauline Gowing, Australia
07/08/2016 16:30
0
0
The finding of this woman's remains, and accompanying companions and artifacts, 8000 feet above sea level, in a wild and remote region, offers a fascinating insight to the ancient world and its peoples. Whilst scientific research is both necessary and important, so are the wishes of those whom see her as one of their own. Let us hope that a compromise can be reached to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Simon Robinson, Crewe UK
29/05/2015 16:28
1
0
It is well-known that this woman can not be ancestor of Altai people.It is the same situation if people of Yakutia will ask to rebury mummy of Tutankhamun in Yakutsk .
Alexander , Novosibirsk
27/05/2015 15:28
8
3
Return her to her people, respect their wishes. We must not run roughshod over their culture.
Margaret, England
27/05/2015 14:35
7
4
If the mummy is buried, it will be stolen by thieves or burned by some drunk guys...so it should be in the Museum of Archeology attracting thousands of tourists
Enrique, Spain
27/05/2015 09:45
5
3
Please return this lovely Princess to her original burial site, where she lived, and to the peopls who she really belongs to. She is an ancestor, and as a person who lived so very long ago, she deserves the respect of a reburial.
Judith Woods, East Falmouth, MA, USA
27/05/2015 04:47
7
2
Although we search and survey for scientific interest, we are truly nothing more than grave robbers of the centuries past. We carry off their treasures, their bodies and then open their tombs for profit but these actions centuries from now will only prove a death knell to a treasure that left untouched might be found by the next reincarnation of humankind. Yes, we find great things from these sites but leave the dead buried, let them test in peace. Place her back with those that hold her dear, and let her be.
pansycritter, maple city, usa
27/05/2015 04:47
8
2
1

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