Scythian Designs

A Female Ice Mummy was found in Burial Mound 5 Pazyryk, Altai.


Tattoo inspired painting by Sheridon Rayment   Acrylic on canvas


The woman found on Burial Mound 5 would have been the Chieftan's wife or concumbine. She may have been sacrificed as part of the Chieftan's elaborate funeral and ritualistic burial.  Her age is unknown.  It is believed that Pazyryk women were poisoned, then buried with their husband, enabling them to be together in the afterlife.

A woman was also discovered in Burial mound No 2 Pazyryk, Altai, however she had been battered by grave robbers and her hands and fingers were chopped off to get her jewellery.  Due to the severity of her injuries the tattoo depicted would most probably have been on the female corpse found in Burial Mound No 5.

   This tattoo was found on the mummified forearm of a woman.



The tattoo depicts two Siberian Tigers and a Snow Leopard feasting on two elk. 

 The tattoos are depicted in a special unique artistic manner, which is characteristic of Pazyryk art in the so-called Siberian Scythian animal style. The animals take reclining positions. They convey the shapes of separate animals and subjects of predators attacking prey, so-called "scenes of mauling."


Image of tattoo from Hermitage Musseum collection.


 Burial mound 5 excavated in 1949 by Sergei Rudenko


Pen and ink drawing of tattoo on Female Ice Mummy's forearm by Sheridon Rayment


Barrow number 5, showed good preservation as the man's and women's corpses were intact.  Female items in the burial chamber included a female head-dress and pigtail and felt stockings.




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