Jwoww, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga may make the news when they get a new tattoo but they don’t have anything on the 2500-year-old ink on a recently discovered Ukok princess in the Altai mountains. The Researchers said that the Siberian Mummy’s tattoos are comparable to modern body art and are some of the most complex tattoos ever found on a mummy.
Natalia Polosmak, the lead researcher who discovered the Ukok princess, said:
“Compared to all tattoos found by archeologists around the world, those on the mummies of the Pazyryk people are the most complicated and the most beautiful… It is a phenomenal level of tattoo art. Incredible.”
ABC reports that the Siberian mummy was probably a 25-year-old female. Researchers believe that she belonged to the Pazyryk tribe and was buried about 2500 years ago. Due to the cold in the permafrost the Siberian Mummy’s tattoos were preserved, revealing images of ancient deities.
“I think we have not moved far from Pazyryks in how the tattoos are made. It is still about a craving to make yourself as beautiful as possible.
Polosmak also said that tattoo locations haven’t changed much over the last 25 centuries. According to Polosmak, the place to get a tattoo, for both the Pazyryk tribe and modern people, is on the left shoulder.
“We can say that most likely there was – and is – one place on the body for everyone to start putting the tattoos on, and it was a left shoulder. I can assume so because all the mummies we found with just one tattoo had it on their left shoulders. And nowadays this is the same place where people try to put the tattoos on, thousands of years on.”
Here are some photos of the Siberian Mummy’s tattoos.
On her left shoulder, the mummy has a tattoo of a mythical animal: A deer with a griffon’s beak. She has another deer on her wrist.
The Ukok Princess also had tattoos on her hands and fingers. According to the NY Daily News, this, coupled with the fact that she was not buried with a weapon, may point to the fact that she was a storyteller in the tribe.
Here’s a diagram of all of the Siberian Mummy’s tattoos.