Ancient Priestess, Warrior Chief of Siberia?


Ukok_princess_reconstructionIn the Altai Republic on it’s  disputed border China a grave site was found which held the Siberian Maiden. This was the area of a once flourishing culture and because of its location it benefited from the many trade routes and caravans of merchants passing through the Altay Mountains. The burial happened sometime between the 6th to 3rd centuries BC which put the finding during the Iron Age archaeological culture identified by  mummified humans and excavated artifacts found in the Siberian permafrost. 250px-Altai_republic_map

These were the Pazyryk people who are believed to have had a war-like lifestyle, because no homes or other structures were found in the area it is also speculated that they also practiced a nomadic way of life.

Who was the Ice Maiden?

sacrificial horses guard her tomb. Gold and silk adorn her body. For 24 centuries, she was frozen in time. Was she a priestess? A warrior chief? She had been frozen in time for 24 centuries. She was found wearing a yellow tussah blouse, a crimson and white striped wool skirt with a tassel betl, white felt leggings which where thigh-high made of marten fur, along with other artifacts including a small mirror made from polished metal and carved deer figures, and a headdress that stood almost 3′ tall, thus the reason for the being about 8 feet long. The headdress itself had a wooden sub-straight with a molded felt like covering, with the felt area where eight feline figures covered in gold.

The reason it is believed that the Ice Maiden was of higher status within her community was that along with her horses who were buried with her (their heads pointing eastward), as was the case in other Pazyryk burials. It was determined that she was between the ages of 20 to 30 years old at the time of her death.

The most compelling evidence that she might have been a priestess or possible warrior chief was what they found within the burial chamber itself. Her coffin was made of solid larch wood tree trunk which were decorated with leather appliques depicting deer figures. Two small wooden tables with tray-shaped tops  contained Horse-meat, mutton, residues of dairy products and maybe even yoghurt that was found in a wooden vessel with a carved handle and stirrer, also found was a second horn type cup with a beverage that was to sustain her on her journey.


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