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25-century-old Ukok Princess to find final resting place in Altai

December 14, 2014, 23:48 UTC+3 GORNO-ALTAISK
First sketches of a would-be burial mound for the ancient mummy of a mysterious young woman have been presented
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Taryshkin

GORNO-ALTAISK, December 14. /TASS/. First sketches of a would-be burial mound for the ancient mummy of a mysterious young woman, known as the Ukok Princess, have been presented in the Republic of Altai, Altai Kine, the president of the Kin Altai Turkic Spiritual Centre, a regional public organization, told TASS.

“It is supposed that the mummy will be buried at its original burial place, in the Ukok plateau, from where it was unearthed by archaeologists in 1993. A burial monument will be erected above the grave, a kind of mausoleum. Now we have several designs,” Kine said, adding that so far there was no government resolution allowing to re-burry the mummy. “But we do believe this young woman will finally rest in peace. Some time ago, few people believed the princes will come back to the republic /the mummy was kept in Novosibirsk till 2012/. It’s up to us to decide what the mausoleum will look like.”

He noted that all the designs of the would-be mausoleum provided for possible access to the mummy for researchers. All of them are based on ethnic and religious rules and rites. Thus, under one of them, it will be a tumulus with a nine-layer white mausoleum on the top. Stone idols of Altai deities will be placed around the tumulus.

The 25-century-old mummy of the Princess of Ukok was brought to the National Museum of Altai in 2012 after about 20 years spent at a Novosibirsk-based research institute. The mummy, an object of worship for the indigenous Altai people, was excavated in 1993 along with six saddled and bridled horses from the frozen earth of Altai's Ukok plateau near the border with Mongolia. The mummy has since been kept at the Archaeological and Ethnographic Institute of Novosibirsk, where it was studied by researchers.

Nothing is known of her actual history, but DNA tests and the reconstruction of her face indicate she was of European, not Asian, origin. Found ot the border of China and Mongolia, she was initially thought to have been of Scythian extraction.

The Altai people believe the Princess was the ancestress of the humankind. Ever since she was discovered they have insisted she should be brought back to her homeland, Altai.

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