In 1988, a team of archaeologists in Saryg-Bulun in central Tuva found human remains nearly 2,600 years old. At that time the region was still part of the Soviet Union. The body, contained in a hermetically sealed larch trunk coffin, was well preserved.
One report even mentioned the presence of a wart on the corpse’s face. In addition to the mummy, researchers found a battle ax, a quiver with arrows, a headdress, a cloak and various bronze decorations in the coffin, says Big Think.
A warrior at the age of 13
Because the body was accompanied by objects that are not normally given to deceased women, researchers have long believed it belonged to a male individual. However, DNA analysis later revealed that it was the remains of a young woman. “This deviation in the norms of the funeral rite received an unexpected explanation: First, it turned out that the young man was a girl and that this young ‘Amazon warrior’ had not yet reached the age of 14. Archaeologist Marina Kilunovskaya told Archeology.org magazine.
A dominant community
The Scythians are known as nomadic warriors. They had a vast territory under control. According to historians, this stretched from Ukraine to Xinjiang. It is also said that this nomadic people were the inventors of the equestrian art and that cross-dressing was an integral part of their habit.
The 2,600 year old human remains of a 13 year old Scythian warrior. Dr. Vladimir Semyonov
Because of this, women were trained to be warriors as well as men. The discovery of tombs full of remains of female individuals enabled researchers to prove this. Indeed, some skeletons showed traces of violence and fatal wounds.
Better uncover the secrets of a people of the Eurasian steppe
The research team won’t stop there. New work is planned to provide a more accurate dating of the remains discovered in Saryg-Bulun in 1988. CT scans are being done to better understand the circumstances surrounding the death of the young Amazon warrior.
The objects found in the coffin are also analyzed in detail. In this way, experts hope to better decipher the secrets of the Scythians, how they lived and died. This discovery “opens a new avenue in the study of the social history of Scythian society,” Kilunovskaya said, according to our colleagues in the Daily Mail.
The DNA article: The mummy of a Scythian warrior would ultimately be a 13-year-old “Amazon warrior” first published on NeozOne.