Scythian Designs

Khakasia Tiger inspired by Tattooed Khakasia Ice Mummy

Acrylic on Canvas  Artist Sheridon rayment
This painting was inspired by an ancient Khaksaia tattooed skin of an Ice Mummy held at the Hermitage Musseum in Russia. 

The Tiger Tattooed Khakasia Ice Mummy

The mummy from Khakasia was discovered in a burial site dating from the beginning of the Common Era, the kurgan of Oglakhta was excavated in 1969 by L.R. Kyzlasov.

This mummy is different from the other  Ice Mummies housed at the Hermitage Museum, as the skin is a lighter colour, until the examination the mummy had remained clothed.  During an examination of the mummies in 2003, Musseum restorer's noticed an image consisiting of a faded blue figure, the tattoo drawing was unclear and difficult to distinguish. 


Photo image of Tiger Tattoo Khakasia Mummy from Hermitage Musseum, Russia.

The Tiger Tattooed Khakasia Ice Mummy

 Military Medical Academy experts in forensic medicine  were called in to inspect the mummies, they suggested using infrared rays to better reveal the tattoos.

 The Khakasia mummy was photographed using infrared rays. This method works on the basis of the soot that is in the tattoo pigment.  In the photographs, the barely noticeable tattoo images became brighter and distinctive.  The other three mummies were also photographed, using this technique, tattoos that were invisible to the human eye, were "developed" and the images emerged and formed on the photographic plate.


Photo image of Tiger Tattoo Khakasia Mummy from Hermitage Museum, Russia.


The  Tiger Tattoo found on the Khakasia Ice Mummy


Image of Tiger Tattoo Khakasia Mummy from Hermitage Museum, Russia.

Archaeo News                  1 April 2005
Infrared photography reveals tattoos on mummies

Researchers restoring mummies at the Hermitage Museum in St  Petersburg have been using infrared photography to reveal previously invisible tattoos.
    Three of the mummies were removed from the Pazyryk mounds in the south Siberian Altai Mountains, which date back to the 8th to 5th centuries BCE, while another came from the east Siberian region of  Khakassia.
    The Pazyryk mummies are very dark in colour so the markings weren't spotted earlier, and while the Khakassia mummy is a lighter colour, it was kept until recently in its burial garments which hid the tattoo.
    The researchers found oblique bluish figures on the shoulders of the Khakassia mummy, symbols resembling commas and rosettes on the chest, arms and neck, and a bow and arrow on the inside of the elbow.
    This discovery prompted the researchers to photograph the Pazyryk mummies, and the resulting photographs showed tattooed tigers, leopards, horses, roe deer, birds, and mythological beasts including winged predators and hoofed animals with birdlike heads. All the images were in the Scythian-Siberian style, also known as Pazyryk art, except for one of the Pazyryk mummies which had tattoos in a different style, possibly Chinese reflecting the periodic contact the Pazyryk culture had with ancient China.

Source: Itar-Tass News Agency (28 March 2005)

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