Saturday, March 16, 2019

Shoulder bone of Scots hero St Margaret removed by archaeologists

From The Scotsman
Image result for st margaret of scotland
Part of St Margaret’s shoulder bone has been removed from its reliquary by archaeologists seeking to find out more about the life of one of Scotland’s most venerated figures.

The experts will use 3D scanning technology to try to discover more about the 11th century Queen of Scotland’s lifestyle, as well as producing an exact replica which people can hold without fear of breaking an ancient artefact. St Margaret, known as the Pearl of Scotland, led a pious lifestyle and gave much help to the poor, as well as introducing refinements to the country, such as the first use of knives and forks. Now, Lauren Gill from the University of Glasgow and Martin Lane from Cardiff Metropolitan University have had the opportunity to begin researching the holy relic which is kept in an ornate reliquary at St Margaret’s RC Memorial Church in Dunfermline.

After being made a saint by Pope Innocent IV, a shrine was built at Dunfermline where she laid intact until the 16th century when Mary, Queen of Scots asked for her head to be sent to her, to bring her help as she gave birth to her son who would become James VI. Her head was then taken to a Jesuit College in Douai, France, but was never seen again after the French Revolution. As the Reformation threatened to destroy Catholic churches and abbeys the rest of her body had been secreted away in the 16th century, ultimately being taken to Escorial Monastery by Philip II of Spain.

read more here 




One year after her assassination, Marielle Franco’s spirit energizes Rio’s struggles for justice

One year on from the brutal assassination of Rio de Janeiro city council member Marielle Franco, enduring questions about who ordered the hit have become a rallying cry for the marginalized groups she championed.

A 38-year-old black gay politician who was born in Rio’s poverty-stricken Maré favela, Franco was a tireless opponent of the city’s use of heavily armed paramilitary militias. The militias police the city’s sprawling favelas, and have often been accused of violently terrorizing and murdering the city’s poor and LGBT citizens.

This week, two former police officers with connections to President Jair Bolsonaro were charged with killing Franco. One suspect, Ronnie Lessa, lived in the same condominium where Bolsonaro owns a home. The other, Elcio Vieira de Queiroz, has a photo of himself embracing Bolsonaro on his Facebook page. And according to police, the daughter of one of the suspects had dated one of Bolsonaro’s sons, who are both politicians themselves.
Image result for marielle franco
Activists allege that the former policemen were likely employed as contract killers on behalf of the militias, which Bolsonaro and his sons strongly support. Bolsonaro’s failure to condemn Franco’s murder — as well as his numerous comments and policy decisions targeting women, gays, and black Brazilians — have infuriated the late council member’s supporters.

read more here

Monday, March 11, 2019

Russian archaeological find solves 13th-century mystery

From Phys Org News
Rescue archaeology work conducted in the city centre of Yaroslavl prior to installing a new sewer system has turned up an ancient leaden seal from the turn of the 13th century. It once belonged to the spouse of Vladimir Grand-Prince Constantine Vsevolovodich and the mother of the first Grand-Prince of Yaroslavl (Vasilij Vsevolodovich, Duke Of Yaroslavl). Thanks to this find, we finally know the name of the Grand-Duchess—her name was Maria (or quite possibly: Marina Olgovna Princess Of Kursk, 1211-1279).

"In Ancient Rus, everyone in a position of authority—Grand-Princes and Princesses, and the upper ranks of the clergy—had their own seal, which was affixed to all official documents and decrees. We have several thousand such seals from the pre-Mongolian era—but to find one with a female owner is very remarkable indeed. Scientists are only aware of a few dozen examples," said Dr. Pyotr Gaidukov, Deputy director of the Institute of Archaeology.

Dr. Gaidukov is a leading authority on stamps and seals of Ancient Rus, and is responsible for the attribution of the latest find.

Russian archaeological find solves 13th-century mystery

The seal was found in Yaroslavl during preliminary work for putting through a new sewerage system to the Metropolitan bishop Chambers (Mitropolichy Palaty)—the oldest structure in the city. Yaroslavl's city centre has only recently marked its thousandth anniversary—it is a Federal-level Heritage Site that also falls under UNESCO Heritage Protection.

This special status means that any building work in the centre of the city must first undergo archaeological inspection.

Read more 

Kenya: Married Women Get Nod to Inherit Their Fathers' Land

A court ruling asserting that married women qualify to inherit properties of their fathers and should not be excluded during distribution has stirred debate between defenders of women's and men's rights.

The ruling was made by the Environment and Land Court in Nyeri, and stopped a woman from disinheriting her step-daughters. Justice Lucy Waithaka held that married daughters are also entitled to inherit their father's estate, contrary to customary law and many traditions in the country. "Even children born out of wedlock have a right to inherit their parents' property," she added.

A feminist glossary to help you fight for equality

From USA Today
Like any "ism," feminism is rich with jargon, which can lead deeply personal conversations to turn unnecessarily dense. While some terms are entrenched, others are contemporary additions to an evolving lexicon. To help you break through, here are definitions for everything from "feminism" and "misogyny" to "bropropriated" and "feminazi."  Helping you make sense of feminist jargon so you can fight sexism and oppression - read more here @ USA Today


Note: In my day, feminists agitated for gender equality, reproductive rights, domestic violence, changes to family law.  As times changed, the whole look of feminism also drastically changed, being appropriated by others for their own ends, and at times emerging in some bastardised form, unrecognisable to those who trod the path decades ago.  Each generation must find its own way, but there is no need to be disrepectful and forgetful of who to blazed the trail before you.

Trail-blazing women of Kew

From BBC News
The first female gardeners at Kew had to garden in bloomers, but in other ways were ahead of their time.

Women gardeners were employed for the first time at Kew [1896], and on equal pay, decades before women gained the vote.

The first female gardenersMade to wear the same garb as male gardeners so as not to distract their colleagues, their brown woollen bloomers soon made the news.

As the satirical magazine, Punch, put it, "They gardened in bloomers the newspapers said. So to Kew without waiting all Londoners sped."

After a blaze of publicity, the powers that be changed their minds and skirts were reinstated.

Annie Gulvin, Alice Hutchings, Gertrude Cope and Eleanor Morland, who trained together at Swanley Horticultural College, became the first female gardeners at Kew.

Their days were long, digging in the dirt from 6am to 6pm in the summer months. They were expected to spend their evenings attending lectures or studying in the library.

"As far as we can tell, the women were employed on exactly the same terms as the men - and they appear to have been paid the same salary - it was quite a low salary for that day - but it was, as far as we can tell, exactly the same as the male gardeners," says Kiri Ross-Jones.

read more here 
@ List of Professional Gardeners
@ Great Women Gardeners
@ Gardening Women


also
Gardening Women: Their Stories From 1600 to the Present by Catherine Horwood
Women in Landscape Architecture: Essays on History and Practice edited by Louise A. Mozingo & Linda Jewell

Who Run the World? See All the Women Who've Made Hollywood Herstory

E! News is taking a look back at some of the most iconic and influential women in Hollywood and there are a lot. We've managed to narrow it down to just under 50 fierce females who made history in the entertainment industry and they are so impressive.

Females who took charge, broke down barriers and transformed the entertainment industry. Some risked their jobs to change the way the Hollywood studio system ran while others were trailblazers in front of the screen and were the first to win awards that men had been earning for years prior.

read more here @ E! News Australia

Kitty Marion: Radical Suffragette

Kitty Marion (Katherina Maria Schafer), by Criminal Record Office, after  Unknown photographer - NPG x45561
Criminal Records Office c.1913
Kitty Marion (1871-1944) was born Katherina Maria Schafer in Westphalia in 1871. Her mother died when she was two years old and when she was fifteen went to live with her aunt in England. She learnt English and it became clear that her ambition was to become a music hall actress, which she achieved three years later in 1889 when she was cast in a pantomime in Glasgow. 

She joined the Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU) in around 1908, taking part in their marches on parliament and selling copies of their journal 'Votes for Women' in the street. When the Actress' Franchise League began in 1909, she was one of the first members. That same year she was arrested for the first time. The second arrest came in Newcastle a few months later when she threw a stone through the window of a post office, an offence for which she received a month's prison sentence. In Holloway jail she was force fed and reacted by setting her cell on fire. Further attacks on property ranging from breaking windows (Mar 1912) and a fire alarm (late 1912) to burning properties (Levetleigh House in Sussex in April 1913, the Grand Stand at Hurst Park racecourse in June 1913, various houses in Liverpool in August 1913 and Manchester in November 1913). These incidents resulted in a series of further terms of imprisonment during which force-feeding occurred followed by release under the Cat and Mouse Act

Fellow WSPU workers finally took her to Paris in May 1914. At the outbreak of war in Aug 1914, Marion's position became doubly uncertain: firstly, there was some question, soon dropped, of returning the suffragette prisoners to jail to serve the rest of their term; secondly Marion was a German by birth and therefore suspect. Despite briefly resuming her career on the stage, she was finally deported, going to America in 1915 where she would spend most of her remaining years. There she quickly became active in the family planning movement and after 1917, she began working with the Birth Control Review published by New York Women's Publishing Company under Margaret Sanger. Marion, with her experience selling 'Votes for Women', became a street hawker, selling the Review in New York for 13 years. She was arrested several times for violating obscenity laws, and was imprisoned for 30 days in 1918. She was granted US citizenship in 1924. 

She returned to London in 1930 to attend the unveiling of the statue to Mrs Pankhurst and began work in the Birth Control International Centre under Edith How Martyn. However, she finally returned to New York where she worked in Sanger's office once more before retiring to the Margaret Sanger Home in New York State where she died in 1944.

read more here:
@ Time



read also:
  • Death in Ten Minutes: Kitty Marion: Activist. Arsonist. Suffragette by Fern Riddell
  • The Company She Kept: The Radical Activism of Actress Kitty Marion from Piccadilly Circus to Times Square by Christine Woodworth
  • Rise Up Women!: The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes by Diane Atkinson
  • The Suffragette Bombers: Britain's Forgotten Terrorists by Simon Webb

see also:



The Pioneering Women of the Champagne Industry, From Clicquot to Bollinger


The "merry widows" of champagne houses like Veuve Clicquot, Champagne Pommery, and Champagne Bollinger helped make bubbly the most celebrated drink in the world.

imageThe 17th century Benedictine monk Dom Perignon may get the credit for developing the methode champenoise, but when it comes to creating the iconic sparkling wines that fill our flutes, we owe the lion's share of our thanks to the ladies.

Beginning in the early 19th century it was the women running some of history's most recognizable champagne houses who pioneered the attributes we consider mainstays today. From the iconic bottle shape to the clarity of the vintage, from that crisp, brut flavor profile to the marketing of champagne as a wine of luxury, it was the so-called "merry widows" of champagne who turned bottles of bubbly into a world-famous celebratory sip.

Why widows, you ask? Unlike many women of the era, widows were allowed the independence necessary for running a business. While unmarried women were dependent on their fathers or brothers (they couldn't even get a bank account) and married women were forced to rely on their husbands's money and power, widows were allowed to own property and businesses in their own right, control their own finances, and move freely in society.

So ..... raise a glass to these "veuves" (the French word for widows), heroines of the cork and coupe.



Hidden women of history: Hsieh Hsüeh-hung, communist champion of Taiwanese self-determination

Every so often a woman takes up arms to lead a spirited struggle against invaders and occupiers of her homeland. Such women usually wind up dead at an early age, but they capture the imagination. 

The Taiwanese revolutionary Hsieh Hsüeh-hung (1901-1970) is such a figure, although like most aspects of Taiwan’s history her significance is contested. Born in Taiwan, buried in Beijing, Hsieh was a communist and also an advocate of Taiwanese self-determination. In the history of world communism, she is noted for being one of the founders of the Taiwanese Communist Party, established in 1928.

Hsieh Hsüeh-hungIn the annals of the Taiwan independence movement, Hsieh has emerged as a heroine of the 1947 uprising, and now the subject of an annual commemoration held in Taiwan on 28 February. In 1948 she founded the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government Alliance.

Hsieh Hsüeh-hung’s fate – in life and in death – was determined by the shifts in attitude towards Taiwanese independence on the part of ruling powers, and by the status of its local left-wing movements. To some degree, she is not so much a woman hidden in history as one rendered visible by it.

read more here @ Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

read more in the series "Hidden Women of History

Hong Kong’s ‘protected women’: the forgotten females of city’s patriarchal 19th-century society

Supported financially by wealthy Western men in exchange for long-term sexual relationships, the women, mostly from the Tanka ethnic minority, were integral to the city’s evolution.  Ng Akew was the most prominent among them, and what’s left of her former home in Central is threatened by development.

So who was Ng Akew??
Ng Akew (sometimes Ong Akew, Ong Mo Kew or Hung Mo Kew) was the de facto leader of Hong Kong’s “protected women”. Almost exclusively of Tanka descent (the Tanka are an ethnic minority in southern China), these young women were financially supported by male members of the Western elite and in turn provided a long-term sexual relation­ship to men who were thousands of miles from their homelands in Europe or America.

A painting of a Tanka boatwoman by George Chinnery (1774-1852). Photo: courtesy of the Hong Kong Maritime MuseumThe women were not regarded as prostitutes or courtesans. Instead, protected by eminent merchants, they achieved an elevated, yet unofficial, social status, economic independence and local influence within a patriarchal and racist society.

The history of 19th-century Hong Kong is dominated by taipans, compradors, sea captains, colonial administrators and missionaries. It’s a story about Western males written by Western males, but the small site in Central, part of which was once the home of Ng Akew, connects us to her story and the important role protected women played in the development of Hong Kong.

read more here @ South China Morning Post

First All-Female Spacewalk Is Happening During Women's History Month


NASA has officially confirmed to CNN that the very first all-female spacewalk in history will take place at the International Space Station on March 29 during Women's History Month.

The team will be comprised of NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christine Koch, who will carry out the spacewalk as part of Expedition 59. Their support on the ground in Houston, Texas, will be Kristen Facciol, a Canadian Space Agency flight controller.

In the official email statement to CNN, she continued, "It is the second in a series of three planned spacewalks. Anne also will join Nick Hague for the March 22 spacewalk. And, of course, assignments and schedules could always change."

It’s not just the astronauts and ground control who are women, either. Schierholz confirmed: "In addition to the two female spacewalkers, the Lead Flight Director is Mary Lawrence, and Jackie Kagey (also a woman), is the lead EVA (spacewalk) flight controller."


read more here @ The Things dot com

Restoration of Taramati, Premamati tombs no mean feat

Situated to the north west of Mausoleum of Muhammad Qutb Shah -- the founder of Hyderabad and patron of Charminar -- in the Qutb Shahi tombs complex at Golconda, stand a pair of tombs dedicated to two women, Premamati and Premamati . Legends have it that these two women were dancers and singers in the court of the Shahi king, Sultan Abdullah Qutb Shah. But make no mistake, they were no ordinary citizens of the era.

The gravestone of Premamati reads, “From all eternity Pemmati was a flower of Paradise”. These words are said to have been inscribed on Premamati’s tomb by Abdullah Qutb Shah himself, which use ‘Pemmati’ to refer to Premamati, instead of her original name. While Taramati is said to have commissioned a mosque built within the Golconda Fort.
However, today these tombs no longer serve to commemorate the incredible lives of these politically-empowered women of the Qutb dynasty. They stand hidden behind two inches of cement from the shoddy restoration works of the last century, or marred by graffitis in poor taste. And so they are now in the crosshairs of the second phase of conservation works being taken up by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC). The AKTC is carrying out the works in association with the State government which is motivated by the `70 lakh funds it received from the US government for the project.

read more here @ The New Indian Express

Is The Viking Birka Warrior A Woman? Judith Jesch Examines The Evidence

From History Extra
Lagertha, portrayed by Katheryn Winnick, in season 4 of Vikings. (Credit: Jonathan Hession/History)The remains of the 'Birka Warrior', originally unearthed in the 1880s, had been long presumed to be those of a male warrior…

In 2017, a research paper made waves by claiming that the remains of a supposed professional warrior found in a 10th-century grave in Birka, Sweden, could be female. The remains, originally unearthed in the 1880s, had been long presumed to be those of a male warrior, due to their burial with weapons and other status symbols. Judith Jesch, an expert in Vikings and Norse studies, offers comment on the recent reassessment of the remains…

read more here @ History Extra

read more by Judith Jesch:
  • Women in the Viking Age
  • The Viking Diaspora
  • Viking Poetry of Love & War
  • Ships & Men in the Late Viking Age


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Four women poets who will take you on an alternative journey through Welsh history

Poetry has played an important role in the history of Wales. From the medieval courts, to the ongoing National Eisteddfod (the largest music and poetry festival in Europe), writers have used verse to document the land’s culture. But while male writers, such as the 12th century poets of the princes and more recently Dylan Thomas, have presented one perspective of Welsh history and culture, female poets have documented a very different take on Wales through the centuries. Here are four who bring a different perspective - Gwerful Mechain; Katherine Philips; Sarah Jane Rees; and Lynette Roberts.

read more here @ The Conversation

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Nigerian king who cursed the sex traffickers

Edo State is Nigeria’s capital of human trafficking, and local authorities are seemingly powerless to protect vulnerable women and girls. Enter His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare II, the ruler of the ancient Kingdom of Benin, who – like the traffickers – plays by a different set of rules.

Benin City, the state capital, is a global hub for the trafficking of women. Up to 10 000 are trafficked from Nigeria every year, usually to Europe, and nine out of 10 of these women are from Edo.


They are sent along the migrant trail — a dangerous route that has claimed the lives of thousands of migrants — usually along the Benin-Auchi road to Kano or Sokoto states in northern Nigeria, crossing over into Agadez in neighbouring Niger and on to Libya. From there, migrants take a rickety boat across the Mediterranean.

In March last year, in front of all his chiefs and the priests of Edo’s indigenous religions, he [His Royal Majesty Omo N’ Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo — better known as Oba Ewuare II] pronounced a royal curse on the heads of human traffickers and their support networks. “Whoever does it from today will face the wrath of our ancestors,” he said — and Edo State listened.

read more here @ Mail & Guardian

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Archive shows medieval nun faked her own death to escape convent

A team of medieval historians working in the archives at the University of York has found evidence that a nun in the 14th century faked her own death and crafted a dummy “in the likeness of her body” in order to escape her convent and pursue – in the words of the archbishop of the time – “the way of carnal lust”.

A marginal note written in Latin and buried deep within one of the 16 heavy registers used by to record the business of the archbishops of York between 1304 and 1405 first alerted archivists to the adventures of the runaway nun. “To warn Joan of Leeds, lately nun of the house of St Clement by York, that she should return to her house,” runs the note written by archbishop William Melton and dated to 1318.

read more here @ The Guardian



Thursday, February 7, 2019

Ancient Superstitions Pervade India as Modern ‘Witch Hunt’ Leaves Mother and Children Dead

A shocking story from India is showing that in some areas of the world old superstitions are still alive and leading to terrible crimes. The belief in witchcraft is still common in many areas of India and is leading to ‘witch hunts’ that result in torture and murder. In a recent incident a woman accused of being a witch was murdered, along with her four children.
Earlier this month the bodies of Mangri Munda and her children were found in a well near their home in Orissa in Eastern India, reports the BBC News . It is believed that a large crowd attacked the home of Mrs. Munda and killed her and her young family, including a 10-month infant. They were led by a man who claimed to be a ‘witchdoctor’ and the reason for the murders was that the mother was accused of being a sorceress, who was casting evil spells and that she and her children needed to be killed.

Image result for indian witch doctor maskPolice in Orrisa, have arrested six people, including the self-appointed ‘ witchdoctor.’ According to the MENAFN website, the local police “are hunting further suspects” since more people, than the six already in custody, participated in the gruesome murders. It is widely accepted that more needs to be done to end these murderous outbursts. Not even the imposition of the death penalty on those who have murdered alleged witches has stopped these barbaric hunts.

read more here @ Ancient Origins

Woman dies in 'menstruation hut'

From 9Honey:
A woman has died in Nepal after being banished to a "menstruation hut".

The cause of death is believed to be suffocation after the 21-year-old lit a fire to try and stay warm in the windowless space.

Parwati Bogati was found deceased when her mother-in-law went to check on her.

Women inside the huts have also been attacked, according to BBC reports.
In one case, a teenage girl was killed after being bitten by a snake during her time in a hut.

Just weeks ago, a mother and her two sons died in a menstruation hut, prompting officials in Bajura to give villagers 10 days to tear down menstrual huts or face legal action.

While the exact number of deaths from menstrual huts isn't known, a number of deaths have been directly related to their use.

read more here @ 9Honey

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Most Prolific Female Assassin in History

Image result for poison in the renaissanceBorn in Palermo, Italy, she was reputedly very beautiful, as was her mother, although there are no known portraits of her. A History of Mystery says that she was probably the daughter of Thofania d’Adamo, who was executed in 1633 for killing her husband.

What is known is that Giulia was a professional poisoner, helping unhappy women get early “divorces,” and by the time she was executed in 1659, she was said to have been responsible for the deaths of over 600 men.

read more here 
@ Guilia Tofana - wikipedia
@ Aqua Tofani - Mike Dash History
@ Toxicology in the Middle Ages and Renaissance edited by Philip Wexler
@ Giulia Tofana by Adrianna Assini (historical fiction)

In Egypt have discovered the remains of an ancient "Princess"

Image result for amenirdis IIDuring the work in the tomb of Karbacken in the floor was discovered a half-meter square hole with a “secret”.  American scientists have found ritual vessels with the bodies of noble women.

They found several canopic jars in the tomb of the high priest of Amun. According to the Ministry of Affairs of antiquities of Egypt the remains belonged to a woman since that last days of independence Ancient Egypt.

As the head of an American archaeological expedition to El-Asifa, Elena Pischikova, all the canopy is made in the style of the 26th dynasty and all have the inscription “to the lady of the house of Amenirdis”. In addition, the canopy contain a sufficient amount of resin, although the flood has damaged a large part of their content.

Note: There were two notable women in Egypt with the name "Amenirdis: one was Amenirdis I (daughter of Pharaoh Kashta) and the other was Amenirdis II (daughter of the Kushite pharaoh Taharqa). Confusingly, both were Priestesses of Amun and daughters of Pharaohs.

read more here 
@ God's Wife, God's Servant: The God's Wife of Amun (ca.740–525 BC) by Mariam F. Ayad
@ The Double Kingdom Under Taharqo: Studies in the History of Kush and Egypt c690 - 664 BC by Jeremy W. Pope

Archaeology Flashback - Siberian Tattooed Princess

Let's go back to 2012 when news of a tattooed Siberian princess made headlines. A brief recap:

The ancient mummy of a mysterious young woman, known as the Ukok Princess, is finally returning home to the Altai Republic this month. She is to be kept in a special mausoleum at the Republican National Museum in capital Gorno-Altaisk, where eventually she will be displayed in a glass sarcophagus to tourists. For the past 19 years, since her discovery, she was kept mainly at a scientific institute in Novosibirsk, apart from a period in Moscow when her remains were treated by the same scientists who preserve the body of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin.


Archeologists even found items from her 'cosmetics bag', which lay inside her coffin next to her left hip, notably a face brush made from horse hair, and a fragment of an 'eyeliner pencil'. This was made from iron rings, inside which was vivianite, giving a deep blue-green colour on the skin.  There was also vivianite powder, derived from an iron phosphate mineral, apparently to be applied to the face. 'Analyses showed that the Pazyryk women knew and used the natural mineral blue colour called vivianite and they also produced quite complicated fat-based facial masks to protect the skin from extreme climates of high mountains.'

Known as Princess Ukok, she will be put on public display in a specially-built glass sarcophagus in Gorno-Altaisk, capital of the republic covering the Altai Mountains. Locals hope her tattooed remains - as well as her possessions including an ancient make-up bag - will become a significant tourist attraction at the Republican National Museum in a spectacular mountain region seeking to attract far more Russian and foreign visitors.

Her ancient tattoo is a showpiece of the glittering opening ceremony for the Sochi Paralympics. The tattoo featured in Sochi was from her left shoulder. It shows a mythological animal, a deer with a griffon's beak and a Capricorn's antlers. The antlers are decorated with the heads of griffons. And the same griffon's head is shown on the back of the animal'.

But local peoples from the Altai Republic, which borders Kazakhstan and Mongolia, have long objected to the fact that her burial mound was disturbed. They were also angered by a decision, after 19 years of academic research into her remains, to put her on display in a glass sarcophagus in a local museum.  Ancient beliefs say that the mummy's presence in the burial chamber was 'to bar the entrance to the kingdom of the dead'.  By removing this mummy, also known as Oochy-Bala, the elders contend that 'the entrance remains open'.  'Today, we honour the sacred beliefs of our ancestors like three millennia ago,' said one elder. 'We have been burying people according to Scythian traditions. We want respect for our traditions'.

Now Siberian scientists have discerned more about the likely circumstances of her demise, but also of her life, use of cannabis, and why she was regarded as a woman of singular importance to her mountain people.  Her use of drugs to cope with the symptoms of her illnesses evidently gave her 'an altered state of mind', leading her kinsmen to the belief that she could communicate with the spirits, the experts believe.

The MRI, conducted in Novosibirsk by eminent academics Andrey Letyagin and Andrey Savelov, showed that the 'princess' suffered from osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone or bone marrow, from childhood or adolescence.  'When she was a little over 20 years old, she became ill with another serious disease - breast cancer. It painfully destroyed her' over perhaps five years, said a summary of the medical findings in 'Science First Hand' journal by archeologist Professor Natalia Polosmak, who first found these remarkable human remains in 1993.

Princess Ukok

Elders in the region where a tattooed princess was found preserved in permafrost have re-sent a petition to Vladimir Putin demanding she be immediately reinterred. They say that since her removal the area has been hit by a series of natural disasters and insist a reburial would 'stop her anger that caused floods and earthquakes'.  Ancient beliefs dictate that her presence in the burial chamber had been to 'bar the entrance to the kingdom of the dead'. Scientists say she lived more than 2,500 years ago, meaning she was alive five centuries before the birth of Christ.

An appeal will be launched after a court this week rejected a demand by the the leader of the Teles ethnic group in the Altai Mountains to order the reburial of the world famous tattooed remains of 'Princess Ukok', dug from her tomb in 1993 by leading Russian archeologists.  Akai Kine, leader of the Teles ethnic group and president of the Spiritual Centre of the Turks, Kin Altai, demanded that the 'archeological complex' Ak-Alakha-3, where the mummy was found on the Ukok Plateau, should be recognised as a cultural heritage monument and the remains of the 'ice princess' classified as an integral part of the tomb. The 'integrity' of the burial site should be restored before her 2,500 year old remains should be reburied.

The well-preserved 25 year old woman - who probably died from breast cancer - was dug from her ice-clad tomb in 1993 by Russian archeologists, but this is the first time her remains will be publicly displayed.  The move to display the mummy in the Anokhin National Museum in Gorno-Altaisk is seen as controversial, even though the remains in a specially built sarcophagus will be viewed only twice a week for a maximum of three hours on each day to ensure she is not damaged. Earlier museum officials appeared to give assurances she would not be displayed.



Archaeology Flashback - 2015

A bit of a flashback to 2015 when reports came through of the discovery of an ancient amazon warrior princess in Kazahkstan. Here is a brief recap:

The skeleton of an ancient female warrior has been uncovered in south Kazakhstan, startling archaeologists whose 23 years of research in the region had never found records or hints of women soldiers in the region. The remains, which are perfectly preserved according to The Telegraph, are believed to belong to a woman based on the skull's shape and size — despite the huge sword and dagger found alongside her body.

The remains of an ancient female warrior still clasping a huge sword and dagger have been discovered in South Kazakhstan. Dubbed Red Sonja after the fearsome warrior woman portrayed by Brigitte Nielsen in the hit 1980s film, the skeleton was found with an impressive arsenal of weapons.  The remains, which are perfectly preserved, are thought to be thousands of years old and could date back as early as 200BC.
A dagger. Arrows. Not exactly what you’d expect in a woman’s grave from 1600 years ago. Unless she was an Amazon. The woman’s remains and the grave goods she was buried with — which includes finely crafted pots and bowls — will soon be put on display in the National Museum of Kazakhstan.  The sword was laid alongside her body, close to her left hand. The dagger was interred close to her right hand.  Archaeologists from Russia’s Institute of Archaeology determined the skeleton belongs to a woman through the size and shape of the skull.

The skeleton of a woman who lived more than 1,600 years ago and who was buried with a sword, a dagger, arrows, and pottery has been unearthed in Kazakhstan. Archaeologists say she was probably a high status person among the Kangyuy people, nomads who lived near the Syr Darya River and the Aral Sea in the southern steppes. The incredible discovery is the first evidence that women of the Kangyuy went to war.   The fact the warrior woman was buried with pots and bowls indicates she was an elite member of society who had some material wealth, says an article in The Telegraph . Researchers said she lived between the 11th century BC and the 4th century AD and determined her sex by the shape and size of her skull.

Archaeologists working in Kazakhstan have uncovered the remains of an ancient female warrior who lived sometime between the 11th century BC and 4th century AD.  Researchers from Russia’s Institute of Archaeology identified the remains as female by analyzing the shape and size of the skull. Other graves of warrior women have previously been found in the Eurasian Steppe, but this is the first one discovered in Kazakhstan.