Mummified Siberian Princess Unearthed With Pristine Tattoos

Nothing is original. Without context, one could think to find these intricate designs on any modern tattoo enthusiast. (Warning: One Skeletally Graphic Image Inside)

Nineteen years ago, on a remote plateau over 1.5 miles up the Altai mountain range, three remarkably well preserved mummies were uncovered.

For almost two decades “Princess” Ukok, as the scientists named her, and her two warriors, were kept under wraps in Novosibirsk, Russia. But now their remains are traveling home to Gorno-Altaisk in Western Siberia where they’ll be displayed in a glass sarcophagus to give visitors a 360 degree view of their ink, according to the Siberian Times.

Drawn by an unknown Russian scientist, these tattoos are reconstructed from the tattoos found on a tribal Siberian princess.

A photo close-up of Princess Ukok’s shoulder tattoo.

Princess Ukok and her warriors are believed to be members of the Pazyryk nomads who existed as early as the 5th century BC when they were described by the Greek historian Herodotus.

Buried with Ukok, who died around the age of 25, were a meal of sheep and horse meat and six horses with bridles perhaps meant to escort her to the next world and most definitely evidence of her status in her tribe. From what knowledge has survived of Pazyryk culture, we know the tattoos were a from of identification, like a driver’s license, meant to make it easier to find your family members after death.

Drawn by Elena Shumakova of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, these images are painfully reconstructed tattoos found on a warrior found on the same plateau as the Siberian princess.

A photo of the tattoo and braided hair from the warrior found in Siberia. Even thousands of years later the ink has been remarkably well preserved.

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