Princess of Ukok
Human Mummy
2528FE8C00000578-2931077-A Swiss taxidermist has created a likeness of Princess Ukok pict-a-17 1422525671015
Reconstruction of the Princess Ukok
Biographical Information
Name(s) The Princess of Ukok, Serbian Ice Maiden, Altai Lady, Devochka, Ochy-bala
Age Between 25-28
Sex Female
Status Higher Status
Height 5ft 6 inches
Culture Pazyryk culture, Russian Steppes
Date(s) From 5th Century BC, found in the summer of 1993
Site Found in the Ukok Plateau near the border of China
Current Location
Location Republican National Museum, Siberia, Russia
Catalog # Unknown
Princess of Ukok, also known as the Siberian Ice Maiden or Altai Lady, is a 2,400 year old mummy. "She belonged to a tribe called the Pzyryks, close relatives of the Scythians, who lived around the Black Sea" (Womack, 1995). The Pazyryks tribe came from European descents, they were nomadic horseman and shepherds , that believed to have worshiped the Sun, Moon and the animals that are sacredly tattooed on their bodies. The Siberian Ice Maiden now rests at the Republican National Museum in Gorno-Altaisk, Russia.


The Ice Maiden was mummified in balm and bandages, her organs was removed and her body had been stuffed with grass and wool, and placed in a wooden coffin The preservation of her skin and body resulted from the water that had flooded her tomb helping freeze her into a block of ice and preserving her remains. Her hair had been shaven from her head and replaced with a wig that was draped with a tall wooden head- dress decorated with cats and swans. She was buried in a burial chamber  built of larch logs, very rare to find a woman buried alone in a wooden tomb. Images of deer and snow leopards were carved in leather. Her burial site undisturbed by looters.


She was discovered by Natalia Polosmak and her team of archaeologists in the summer of 1993, "on the Ukok Plateau, near the border of China, which is now referred to the Autonomous Republic of Altai" (Siberian Ice Maiden, 2015).
Inside her chamber they found a coffin containing a body, wood, gold, bronze, coriander and cannabis. There were two small wooden tables, where they found horse meat, mutton, and dairy products. She had the heads of six horses surrounding her, which were all oriented towards the east including the Princess'. The horses head was to serve her as guidance of her journey to the afterlife. The archeologists discovered her "dressed in a white woolen stockings, a woolen skirt with horizontal white and maroon strips and a yellow Chinese silk blouse with maroon piping" ( Womack, 1995). This suggested that she may have been of the elite of her society. After studying her tattoos it was suggested that she may have been a "shaman or a religious leader" (Womack, 1995), as she had sacred animals tattooed on her body.
Information items 411

Tattoos found all over Princess Ukok body

Her skin was pale and white that was preserved through the freezing of water, to defrost her they poured hot water that had darkened her skin causing her tattoos to fade.

Sampling the organic material, dendro-chronologists concluded she was buried in the spring time.


Her cause of death was unknown until about 2014 when researchers suggested it had been breast cancer. Researchers also discovered that she had injuries sustained in a fall, as likely culprits which may have also contributed to her death. After MRI scans determined that it may have been breast cancer that may have lead to the Ice Maiden's death, as there was no signs of injuries to the skull or bones. DNA testing showed that the Ice Maiden was of Caucasian descent not Mongolian, which she was suspected to be. Additionally, her face was reconstructed using her skull by Tanya Balueva, who used her features and measurements and compared it to present-day Altai inhabitants to confirm that she was Caucasian and had no Mongolian features. Since her tattoos were damaged by the hot water, an archeologists by the name of Dr. Kozeltsev and his assistance have been working on restoring the Ice Maiden's body so the tattoos can be fully restored again.

External Links 

  1. Siberian Ice Maiden. (2015). Retrieved from
  2. Womack, H. (1995). Siberian 'Lady' still youthful after 2,400 years. retrieved from
  3. Siberian Times Reporter. (2012). Siberian Princess reveals her 25, 000 year old tattoos. Retrieved from
  4. Mosbergen, D. (2014). Now we know what killed the Ancient 'Ice Princess', and why she had that marijuana. Retrieved from


1- Reese, M.R (2014), The Stunning Ancient Tattoos of the Pazyryk Nomads. Retrieved from

2- Stewart, W. (2014) Mummy's MRI scan reveals 2,500-year-old Siberian princess died from acute breast cancer - and smoked cannabis to dull the pain. Retrieved from

3- Siberian Ice Maiden. (2015). Retrieved from

4-Holloway, A. (2014). 2,500-year-old Siberian Ice Maiden will finally be laid to rest in her homeland. Retrieved from

5-Womack, H. (1995). Siberian 'Lady' still youthful after 2,400 years. Retrieved from

Notes: Altai’s “Princess Ukok” mummy and what her tattoos tell. (2014, December 18). Retrieved September 10, 2017, from Siberian Ice Maiden: Mummy Tattoos. (2015, April 09). Retrieved September 10, 2017, from Womack, H. (1995, February 07). Siberian `Lady' still youthful after 2,400 years. Retrieved September 10, 2017, from

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