Scythian Designs
Artmagik

Siberian Ice Maiden, Ukok Princess

The Ice Maiden is the famous ice mummy found in an undisturbed Pazyryk burial kurgan.   The "Ice Maiden" or   "Ice Princess" or 'Ukok Princess', was discovered by archaeologist Natalia Polosmak in 1993.  She ia a rare example of Pazyryk Scythian culture, and rarer still by being a single woman.  She was found in a full ceremonial wooden chamber-tomb known as a kurgan, which was buried in the 5th century BCE. Six horses where also found in her kurgan. The "Ice Maiden" was  buried over 2,400 years ago.  

Portrait of the 'Pazyryk Ice Maiden' drawing inspired from the forensic recontruction of her head.

Her coffin was made from the hollowed-out trunk of a larch tree, a type of pine.   Surrounding the outside of the casket were stylized images animal style known as zoomorphic style depicting deer and snow leopards carved in leather .  The Scythians worked in a wide variety of materials such as gold, wood, leather,bone, bronze, iron, silver and electrum. 

It is believed that after burial the grave may have been flooded by freezing rain causing the entire contents of the burial chamber to freeze, the chamber has remained frozen in permafrost preserving the contents for over 2,500 years.

The coffin was made large enough to accomodate a high felt headress, similar to a witches hat, which was decorated with fifteen gilded wooden-birds sewn to it.
The 'Ice Maiden's',  well-preserved body, was carefully embalmed using peat and bark, it is believe she was arranged in the coffin to lie on her side as if asleep, it is possible she may have died in this position and rigor mortis may have already occued.

She was young perhaps 25 years old.  Physically her hair was still blonde. It is estimated she had been 5 feet 6 inches tall.  
She displays animal style zoomorphic tattoos on her arms and her thumb, the zoomorphic creature on her thumb appears to be a type of deer with horns that end in flowers. 

Her appearance has caused conflict in the area, scientific evidence provided by genetics regarding the Ice Maiden's genotype or phenotype that suggest she was not an ancestor of the people now living in the region.  This has caused considerable conflict of a racial nature. The 'Ice Maiden' began deteriorating after being exposed to air and thawing out, she started to go mouldy.  There are not many photographs of her.  The people of the region believe that several natural disaster were caused by archeologist disturbing and removing the 'Ice Maiden'.  

The "Ice Maiden' and her artifacts have not been returned, a ban has been put in place specifically excluding Russian archaeologists from the excavated gravesites on the Ukok Plateau.

Discovering the Ice Maiden

 

Portraits from Forensic Reconstruction of Ice Maiden's Face

 

Deer tattoo from left shoulder of Ukok Princess

 

Tattoos on arm of Ukok Princess

 

Ice Maiden Links

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'Mummy's curse' upsets Siberians   BBC News Last Updated: Friday, 2 April, 2004

'Mummy's curse' upsets Siberians
People in a remote part of Russia have blamed a spate of earth tremors on the excavation of a 2,500-year-old mummy known as the Princess of Altai.

They want scientists to return the remains, which were found in ice and offer unique insights into their time.

Archaeologists oppose reburying the mummy, which is still being examined more than 10 years after its discovery.

Shamanism is still strong in the Altai mountains and one local leader said the mummy's "spirit" had to be appeased.

Aulkhan Jatkambayev said tremors had been happening at the rate of two or three times a week, sometimes measuring up to four on the Richter scale.

"People think this will go on as long as the Princess's spirit is not allowed to rest in peace," he told AFP news agency.

"We must calm people down and bury the Altai Princess."

The region in south Siberia is no stranger to tremors, sitting along a fault zone in the Earth's crust.

Last year, it was the epicentre of an earthquake that left about 1,800 people homeless.

Glass tomb

The Princess is being examined at the Ethnographic Institute in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk.

She was a prized find for archaeologists in Russia and across the world, when she was excavated in 1993 along with six saddled and bridled horses from the frozen earth of Altai's Ukok plateau.

Mummy specialists from Moscow - who were more used to embalming the body of Soviet revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin - were brought in to restore the Princess.

Nothing is known of her actual history, but DNA tests and the reconstruction of her face already indicate she was of European, not Asian, origin, Russia's Izvestia newspaper reports.

Found on the borders of China and Mongolia, she was initially thought to have been of Scythian extraction.

Archaeologists in Novosibirsk say they are willing to return the mummy to an Altai museum eventually, but only if suitable conditions are provided there for conserving the body.

"We are prepared to discuss the mummy's possible transfer to the museum, but burying it is out of the question," team leader Vyacheslav Molodin told Izvestia.

The director of the ethnographic museum in Altai's capital, Gorno-Altaisk, says there are plans to build a glass tomb for the mummy inside the museum.

"Everybody can come and bow before her," said Rima Yerkinova.

Ice Maiden triggers mother of all Siberian disputesSource: The Daily Telegraph 17 April 2004

High in the Altai mountains of southern Siberia, where Shamans still practise their ancient rites and most people are descended from Asiatic nomads, there is a whiff of revolt in the air. Local officials, urged on by the increasingly militant electorate, are collecting signatures, writing petitions and demanding audiences with regional political leaders.

Their demands are simple and have nothing to do with the inept rule, poverty, corruption and ecological disasters dogging the region.

They want a 2,500-year-old mummy, found by
Russian archaeologists 11 years ago and being studied in the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk, to be reinterred without delay.

Egged on by powerful shamans who local people believe act as go-betweens with the heavenly spirits, they say only the mummy's reburial will put an end to a rash of earthquakes and other problems assailing the region.

The mummy in question is an archaeological jewel. When her ornately tattooed body was found entombed in ice in an ancient burial chamber, the find was acclaimed as one of the most important in Russia's recent history.

The Ice Maiden, as she was dubbed, had survived almost intact in the permafrost of the southern Siberian mountains, surrounded by a burial sacrifice of six horses in gilt harnesses.

Now the battle lines over her future are being drawn up. The fight pits modern Russian science against the ancient beliefs of the Altai people who lived in the region for centuries before Russian colonisers arrived 300 years ago.

It is also at the heart of strained relations between Moscow, often seen as high-handed and out of touch, and the many indigenous peoples of Russia, growing in self-confidence and demanding ever-greater autonomy even as President Vladimir Putin seeks to rein them in.

The campaign to rebury the Ice Maiden began soon after a strong earthquake hit the region last September, destroying many buildings.

Aulkhan Djatkambayev, the head of the Kosh-Agach administration in the Southern Altai region, is a leading proponent of the cause.

"People say the failure to rebury the mummy has brought a string of misfortunes and I respect their opinions," he said. "It is not only a question of earthquakes, but there is a rising incidence of suicide and sickness.

"I respect science but we are nomads not scientists and every people has the right to its own level of understanding. Only by reburying the mummy can we lay the spirits to rest and calm people's fears."

The Russian scientists studying the mummy in Novosibirsk, some 400 miles north, scorn such talk.

Vyacheslav Molodin of the Russian Academy of Sciences, whose wife discovered the Ice Maiden, said that during the 1990s when funding was scarce, scientists at the research centre even gave some of their pay for expensive conservation materials.

He said: "Burying the mummy would make us a laughing stock of the world scientific community. As for the earthquakes, the Altai has always been a high-risk zone and earthquakes are nothing unusual there."

The discovery of the Ice Maiden was of great scientific importance. By studying her, archaeologists have been able to piece together much about a little-known people called the Pazyryks, fierce nomadic fighters and skilled horsemen who lived in the first millennium before Christ.

Previously historians had been forced to rely almost exclusively on the writings of Herodotus, who was fascinated by these warrior-nomads who grazed their herds at the ancient historical gateway known locally as the Pastures of Heaven. Today it is the point where Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan meet.

Herodotus wrote of virgin warriors, some of whom cut off a breast to make them better archers. He wrote: "No maiden may marry until she has killed a man of the enemy. Some die old women, unmarried, because they cannot fulfil the law."

The Ice Maiden, who died when she was about 25, was certainly an important member of society, though probably not a warrior or a princess, as local people claim, but a story-teller, a highly revered position in nomadic culture.

She was buried in a long coffin made of larch and a table was set out with horse-meat and mutton to accompany her into the afterlife. She worea tall wooden headdress and coriander seeds were sprinkled around her.

There were many such burial sites but most were ruined by grave-robbers during the Dark Ages. The Ice Maiden survived only because looters did not search further after finding another body buried on top of her coffin. She was preserved because her body had been stuffed with peat and bark and ice seeped into the grave.

Even the most sceptical admitted that during the work to excavate her there were suspicions of strange forces at work. Jeanne Smoot, an American archaeologist at the dig, told of a sense of foreboding that plagued the team, and frequent nightmares.

When they took the mummy to Novosibirsk, their helicopter's engine failed and it crash-landed. On arrival, the body was almost ruined when it was placed in a freezer that had been used to store cheese and began to develop fungi. The Ice Maiden was saved only when she was rushed to Moscow for treatment by the embalmers who worked on Lenin's body.

In Gorno-Altaisk, the shabby, Soviet-built capital of the stunningly beautiful Altai region, talk of ill fortune shadowing the Ice Maiden comes as no surprise.

At the local market, traders said that until she was laid to rest bad luck would continue.

Tatyana Kazantseva, 48, said: "Our princess must be reburied immediately, everybody here agrees. Having her in a laboratory might be good for the scientists but it has brought only bad for us."

The director of the ethnographic museum, Rima Yerkinova, said: "Personally I am torn. As the director of the museum, I feel she must be returned to us to be put on display for our people to see. But something inside me says she should be reburied. It is the belief of our people."

Source: The Daily Telegraph 17 April 2004

Minor nationality of Russia demands the return of "Princess of Ukok"

About five thousand residents of Altai Republic demand the return of the so-called "princess of Ukok" mummy which is now kept in Novosibirsk back to the republic.

Written appeal with such request was sent by the residents addressing head of the republic Mikhail Lapshin, chairman of the State Assembly Igor Yaimov and deputy of the State Duma Sergey Pekpeyev.

NA REGNUM's correspondent has been informed by the speaker of State Assembly Igor Yaimov.

4654 personal signatures are affixed to the appeal. The document says:

"We address you with the request for prompt settling of the issue of returning the well-known "princess of Ukok" mummy to the National museum of Altai Republic. The given issue was discussed in mass media, negotiations with lead staff of the Archeology and Ethnography Institute of the Russian Academy of Science, Siberian Branch were underway. We hoped and believed that construction of special premises for keeping and exhibiting the mummy would begin this year, and in the year of celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Altai people voluntary affiliation with the Russian State (this date will be commemorated in 2006 - NA REGNUM) returning of the Altai national relic would become one of the main events".

As authors of the appeal inform, many inhabitants of Altai complain of disrespect to their religious views, according to which mountainous Ukok plateau always had its sacral and mystical character. "Princess of Ukok is not only a religious and spiritual, but also a cultural and historical heritage of all Mountainous Altai people". Many spiritual leaders of Altai, the request says, connect deseases and natural disasters in the republic to this particular excavation and taking "the princess of Ukok" out of Altai.

The mummy was discovered by an archaeological expedition of Novosibirsk scientists headed by doctor of historical sciences Natalia Polosmak in the early 90th years. Excavations were carried out at Ak-Alakha tract on the Ukok plateau located in the south of the Mountainous Altai. The plateau borders on Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. Later academician Vyacheslav Molodin discovered one more mummy at this same place, a male warrior. As scientists claim, the mummies were contained in Scythian burial places made in 4-5th centuries B.C. At that time it was a so-called period of "Pazyryk culture" in Altai.

The mummies remained preserved due to the permafrost. Scientists insist on continuation of the excavations as interdisciplinary researches indicate possible warming of the climate as a result of which thawing of ice lenses will occur. At present there is even data showing in which exactly barrows on Ukok plateau ice is still existent.

However, the indigenous population of Altai extremely negatively regarded the fact that scientists managed to find the mummies. Amid the Altai intellectuals, they started to assert that Ukok plateau had always been considered a sacred place for altaians and they knew about the burial place for the woman since in the unearthed barrow "princess Kadyn" had lied whom shamans had been worshipping for millennia.

Today, a powerful movement has emerged in Altai aimed at claiming the mummy back to its ‘native land”. Among supporters of this idea, however, there are two directions. One suggests simple returning it to Altai and exposing the mummy in Mountainous Altai Museum. Others demand to re-bury "princess". For the last ten years supporters of the mummy's returning were constantly sending appeals to authorities with requests for solving the problem. Still the latest actual form of address has beaten all records by amount of people who had signed it.

Novosibirsk archeologists repeatedly declared that they are not against transferring of the mummy to Gorno-Altaisk. Special expensive equipment is necessary to preserve it though, which the Altai museum doesn't possess.

After an earthquake in September of 2003 in Altai, epicenter of which was around 100-150 kilometers from Ukok plateau, local residents began to claim that this act of nature was the result of disturbing the burial place of "princess Kadyn" who now revenges on people.

 

THE CURSE OF THE ALTAI PRINCESS

Altai pagan people want to put it back to the ground

by Dmitry Filimonov/Gorno-Altaisk and Novosibirsk


Плато Укок (фото:/irbis.asu.ru)

Altai Mountains have been shaking for six months in a row. Each day is broken by two tremors. The dogs begin to howl and the windows go atrembling. The ground goes up and down in waves and the water bursts out of the mountains. The shamans say that the end of the world is nigh.

The residents of the affected areas keep forwarding their request to the authorities based in the town of Gorno-Altaisk. They first asked for some tents, makeshift stoves and fodder. Their requests were either lost in the process or simply disregarded. The head of the autonomous republic simply took a holiday before the next elections.
The people had to build up mud huts and make stoves from the broken bricks. They began to slaughter their livestock that was doomed anyway due to the lack of fodder.

Then they found out that 500 million roubles had been allocated by the federal government to finance the rebuilding. They figured out that the money had been allotted for them so they sent more letters to the officials in Gorno-Altaisk. They wanted to know: where?s the money? The letters seem to have been lost again.
When an old man and a young boy, the residents of the destroyed village of Beltir, committed suicide, everybody put the blame on despair. And then a wave of suicides swept across the damaged areas. The shamans? verdict: ?The curse of the Altai Princess.?

Another letter was sent to the high places:

?We, the indigenous people of the Mountainous Altai, are the pagans and nature worshippers. All the diggings that have been conducted and are conducted in the Altai cause us unrecoverable harm. The invaluable treasures, a spiritual heritage of the Altai people, are moved out of the region despite our protests. A burial mound containing a young tattooed woman of noble descent was opened at the Ukok plateau in the Kosh Agachsk region. She?s a sacred relic to the Altai people, a keeper of peace and grandeur of our people. The Altai Princess is now kept in a museum in Novosibirsk. Being the pagans we?re completely confident that the soul of the Altai Princess is full of anger because she hates being bothered and wants to be laid to rest. The tragic events of the last few months spring from the situation. We, the residents of the Oroktoy village, are calling on the people of the Republic of Altai to support our demands for the return of the sacred relic.?

The above letter finally made it to the authorities. Just like all the other collective letters asking to put the mummy back to the ground.

The requests are signed by cattle-breeders, lumberjacks, livestock experts, masons, milkers, tractor operators, doctors, shepherds, combine harvester operators, teachers and the unemployed. Aelkhan Zhatkambaev, a governor of Kosh Agachsk, an area most severely hit by the earthquake, also put down his signature. The requests were discussed by the government. The head of the republic made a televised address promising to put the mummy back where she belonged.

Forced landing

The mummy was uncovered in the summer of 1993. At the Ukok plateau. 2500 m above the sea level. The argalis, snow leopards and the border guards. And the burial mounds. The border defenses were built up in the area back in the 1960s when the threat from China seemed imminent. The border troops used stones from the mounds for their pillboxes. Natalya Polosmak, an archeologist, chose one of the semi-demolished mounds for her digging, it was sitting ugly next to the barbed wire. It looked small and ordinary.
?Can?t you find another mound at Ukok? There?s plenty of them around,? said to her Academician Vyacheslav Molodin, her teacher and husband. ?It?s been vandalized, no doubts about that.?

Natalya was persistent in her plans.

Her team dug out a burial site dating back to the early Iron Age in a week. It proved to be a double burial site with an early tomb hidden underneath another one which was inserted later on. The original tomb was covered with an ice lens. It meant that lots of interesting things could be lying in the lower burial chamber just like in a freezer.
A helicopter brought to location a group of archeologists and journalists from Switzerland, Belgium, USA, Japan and Germany to location a few days after the news had been passed to the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian division of the Academy of Sciences.

The burial chamber was being unsealed to the buzz of the media. It took a few days to complete the operation. The burial chamber was a wooden framework. Packed with ice. It was melted down with hot water delivered in mugs. The mugs were used again for scooping out the water from the melted ice.

Six horses lay frozen in ice, the saddles and harness in place. There was a wooden block too. It was fixed with the bronze nails. The blocks like that made of larch were used for burying noble people.

The mummy was lying on the right side with her legs slightly bent under, her arms covered with tattoos. The mummy was clad in a silken shirt, a woolen skirt, felt socks around her feet, a fur coat wrapped around her body and a wig covering her head.
Two helicopters were used for taking the archeologists and the find to Novosibirsk. The chopper carrying Natalya and the mummy crash-landed somewhere between Barnaul and Novosibirsk due to an engine failure. The party reached the city by car.

The local press reported the following news: ?The helicopter carrying the mummy of the Altai Princess suffered a crash killing everybody onboard. The mummy survived the crash intact.?



World sensation

An authority on mummies arrived from the Moscow Research Center of Biological Structures. The institution is charged with preservation of Lenin?s body. Moscow biologists agreed to restore the mummy for 15 million roubles.

A few dozen research teams from Russia and the rest of the world were busy studying parts of the mummy as it was soaking in the Lenin baths. The find turned out to be a world sensation. It?s reported to be 2,500 years old. The tissue condition is pretty satisfactory for such an old age. Specialists at the Cytology and Genetics Institute singled out DNA from the mummy?s tissues. They found out that:

?A deletion measuring 9 p.n. is missing in the DNA sections. The above deletion is a direct marker indicating the presence of the eastern Asiatic component.?
The princess wasn?t a Mongoloid, in other words. The Altais are a Mongoloid people. The face restoration confirmed the geneticists? findings: the princess had European facial features. The further research showed that the Nenets and Selkups were most likely to be her descendents.

The Altai Princess is not the original mother of the Altai people? The people of Altai would be better off without this piece of information.
The local press put out an article under the headline: ?Molodin, Polosmak &Co created their own anti-national racist theory.?

The Scythians? Gold

Archeologists had troubles dealing with the local authorities before. The locals didn?t let them dig out the mounds. Things got for the worse when the results of the genetic study were published.

Excerpts from the appeal by the Altai intelligentsia: ?... we?re of the different opinion despite the statements made by some officials at the Archeology and Ethnography claiming that the burial sites unearthed have ?no ancestors of yours.?

We view a far-fetched theory regarding the lack of a genetic link to the Altai people as a biased approach towards the history of the Turk peoples. We?re against the plans as regards the Altai land being turned into a single ugly digging hole. We ought to return an embalmed body of the young woman to her place of rest. No scientific interests whatsoever should prevail over the religious and ethnic sentiments of the entire nation.?
Having considered the appeal, the government of the Altai declared the Ukok plateau a ?zone of rest?. Digging is now forbidden. Archeologists have to take a bypass road through Kazakhstan to reach the plateau only to get caught by the angry public and police. Still, the diggers aren?t breaking the federal law, they?ve got a license to dig, an ?open list?. Therefore they can?t be expelled.

The war is going on for 9 out of 10 years of the digging at the Ukok plateau.
23 burial mounds have been opened during this period. One mummy was found.
Why didn?t they find any gold in the mounds? The public claim that gold should be there. There?s a rumor circulating around the Altai: the archeologists are keeping gold to themselves.

?This fur court is the oldest fur coat in the world. It costs much more than any gold,? says Academician Molodin.

Sarcophagus for the Princess

In the meanwhile, the battle for the princess rages on. Funds were allocated from the local coffers to buy to air conditioners in a local museum of regional studies. The units are used to keep the air at 18 C all the time in a room where the mummy is going to be stored.

Excerpts from a letter by the Altai Minister of Culture to the director of the Archeology Institute: ?This is to advise you that the museum will be shortly completing preparations for taking the female mummy from the Ukok plateau for storage pursuant to the agreement between your Institute and the Ministry. It?s highly recommended that the exhibit be put on display in the same sarcophagus. The sarcophagus in question had been her ?house? for many years. The Ministry of Culture is ready to discuss the cost of the sarcophagus.

According to local media, the money spent on the AC units had been originally allocated for the poor. Yet the poor are ready to keep on starving for a little more if the return of the princess is at stake.

From a letter by the director of the Archeology Institute to the Altai Minister of Culture: ?I?m deeply saddened to inform you that the issues relating to a potential transfer of the mummy to your museum have been aggravated by my signing an agreement on cooperation with you. According to legal counselors, I exceeded my authority by doing so.?

The talks have been disrupted. The air conditioners are blowing cool air in an empty room. The poor are relieved of the money and the princess.
Some headlines in the local press: ?The archeologists who took part in the digging of the Altai Princess, are dying one by one due to reasons unknown.?
?We?re going to fold our operations here. It?s getting too dangerous,? said Molodin

Mausoleum for the mummy

The Gorno-Altai communities are split in two. Some want to bury the princess. The others want to put it to a mausoleum.

Rimma Erkinova favors the latter alternative. She?s a director of the regional studies museum. A mockup of the mausoleum is sitting atop her desk. The republican government allocated 2 million roubles for a architectural design. ?The Princess is ours,? said the above lady.

Ivan Belekov is a pro-mausoleum sort of guy. He?s a local minister of culture. He finds it hard to estimate the construction costs. He believes the cost will be high. He knows that his republic has no funds available yet he?s sure that the construction will kick off next year.

Vladimir Sabin wants to bury the mummy. He?s a deputy in a local parliament. He shows me a photograph of poachers holding a freshly skinned argali. ?Molodin is just like them,? said he. ?The body must be put into the ground. Right where it was taken from.?
Vladimir Kadyev wants to bury it too. He?s a board member of the Congress of the Altai people. ?They should have gotten a license from the spirits before digging,? said the board member. He?s going to write to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He?s sure that the big wig will help bury the princess.

?We?re open to discussions as regards a transfer of the mummy to a local museum.
Burying the mummy is out of the question,? said Academician Molodin.

On March 7, 2004, President Putin signed a decree for the celebration of 250th anniversary since the Altai had been made part of Russia. The anniversary is to be celebrated in 2006. The leaders of the Altai people hope that Russia will give them the princess for the occasion. And the earthquakes might abate afterwards.

Object of the highest value

Putting the mummy back to rest means irreparable damage?

The Altai Princess falls under the law ?On objects pertinent to cultural heritage of the peoples of the Russian Federation?. The law says that archeological finds shall be regarded as objects of cultural heritage of the federal importance. Article 25 reads: ?The objects of cultural heritage that are deemed ... of the highest archeological value may be considered as objects of the world cultural heritage.? The mummy is undoubtedly an object of the highest value.

As by Article 61 ?Persons who caused damage to an object of cultural heritage shall recover the cost of restoration incurred thereby. The costs duly recovered shall not exempt such persons from being subject to criminal prosecution.?
Those who will bury the mummy will end up in jail.

Mystery behind the Scythian princess 29/4/04

Leonid Drachevky stands against restitution of “Scythian princess” to Altai residents

“The mummy of “Princess Ukoka” is part of historical heritage” - declared Leonid Drachevky, plenipotentiary of the President of Russian Federation in Siberian federal district. According to him, archeological dig and research in Tchu valley should continue. 

During his meeting with residents of the village of Kosh-Agach and the administration of Kosh-Agach region the plenipotentiary stated the following: “We are all educated people and I just feel awkward to hear of awakened spirits as though we live in the period of Middle Ages. If instead of work we start studying metaphysics, nothing good will come out of that”.

“The mummy of “Princess Ukoka” is not only Altai people’s property. It is a part of the world historical heritage just like Scythian burial mounds situated in the same Tchu valley. Another reason why the dig should be done here is that due to the ongoing global warming, the ice lenses preserving the burials slowly start to melt, state the scientists. If we don’t provide the scientists with the chance to work, this priceless treasure may be lost forever,” remarked Leonid Drachevsky.

IA REGNUM reminds that in February, 2004 Head of Kosh-Agach district of the Republic of Altai (RA) Auelkhan Jatkambayev sent an appeal to Head of the Republic Mikhail Lapshin, Senator of the Altai Republic Ralif Safin, Deputy of the State Duma from RA Sergey Pekpeev, Speaker of the State Assembly Igor Jakimov, the authorities of Siberian federal district and also scientists of Siberian department of Russian Academy of Sciences in which he asked to restitute “the princess and the prince” to their burial place, that is to the river Valley on the Ukok plateau. He thinks that this action can prevent further earthquakes in Altai Republic.

According to the information of Siberian department of Russian Academy of Sciences, the mummy if a woman found by Nadezhda Polosmak was called “princess” following the journalists’ example though she had never been a princess during her lifetime and was part of middle class Pazarik community. The research of a man’s mummy found by academician Viacheslav Molodin shows that he had been an ordinary soldier. The two mummies are now being kept in Novosibirsk, Institute of History of the Siberian department of Russian Academy of Sciences. Meanwhile the local shamans go on stating that both the place and the mummies are sacred for Altai people. They also declare that the mummy has belonged to princess Kidin (Kadin) who has always been honoured by Altai people. However, DNA testing enabled the scientists to find out that  the mummies belonged to the Scythian, not the Turki, therefore those people cold not be Turkish princess and prince during their lifetimes.  Translated by: Irina Alexeyeva