Discovered by Natalia Polosmak and her team in 1993, the Siberian Ice Maiden is one of the most well-preserved examples of Scythian-Southern Siberian culture and is one the the greatest archaeological finds in Russian history.
Whilst researching into the early habitation of Southern Siberia on the Ukok Plateau in the Altai mountains region of Russia , Natalia and her team unearthed the frozen body from a kurgan located in this region, built from logs of wood as well as other typical kurgan materials such as rocks and smaller sediment. She was frozen solid within her tomb under a layer of ice and permafrost, perfect for the preservation of human flesh. The use of logs in her tomb and coffin allowed dendrochronologists to date her tomb back to the 5th century BCE.
Due to the rarity of finding a young female from this time period being buried in such a fashion, resting on her side and in her very own tomb, it is assumable that she was held in a high regard within her society, she may have been a priestess, and her tomb was found with an afterlife meal, a mirror and headdress and also a wooden table. As well as these, she was buried with 6 horses to accompany her into the afterlife and dressed in a fine silk tussah blouse and a woolen skirt . Her body features many tattoos of snow leopards, deer and other unique animals.
Biological testing of her body has pinpointed her age to being in her mid twenties and her body was found to be almost unscathed, so her death was most likely due to natural causes. She underwent a proper mummification process, her innards having been removed and replaced with grasses and other plants.
Unfortunately, due to the handling of her transportation out of the kurgan, having used hot water to unfreeze her from her coffin, having endured a rough helicopter ride out of the mountains and not having been refrigerated properly, she has slowly deteriorated away and many of her tattoos have faded.