Woman’s Preserved Head Discovered in Arctic Cemetery

News August 4, 2017

(Institute of the Problems of Northern Development, SB RAS)
Russia woman mummy
(Institute of the Problems of Northern Development, SB RAS)

SALEKHARD, RUSSIA—The Siberian Times reports that the mummified remains of a woman have been found for the first time in the Zeleny Yar necropolis on the edge of the Arctic. All of the other burials unearthed at the site to date have belonged to men and children. A team of scientists from the Institute of the Problems of Northern Development SB RAS estimate the woman stood five feet, one inch tall, although her body was poorly preserved, and that she was about 35 years old at the time of her death, some 800 years ago. The woman’s head, including her hair and eyelashes, was well preserved in the permafrost, with the help of a piece of copper that had been placed over her face. She was buried with bronze temple rings, which were found close to her skull, which was wrapped in animal skin and birch bark. “This radically changes our concept about this graveyard,” said Alexander Gusev of Russia’s Arctic Research Center. For more on archaeology in the area, go to “Squeezing History from a Turnip.”

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