Mummified ‘Amazon warrior’ girl, 13, found buried with axe, bow and a ‘wart still visible on face’ after 2,600 years

Margie Jones
04/10/2023

ANCIENT remains of a suspected ‘Amazon warrior’ have been identified as a girl no older than 13 years old.

The 2,600-year-old teenager is also said to have a visible wart and a range of war-like grave goods.

Experts previously thought the remains were of a young boy

11Experts previously thought the remains were of a young boyCredit: Vladimir Semyonov

The grave was first discovered in 1988 in Siberia’s modern-day Tuva republic.

However, the mummified remains were labelled as female.

A new study used modern technique to reassess the discovery and found the body belonged to a young girl.

The researchers think this stunning discovery is further confirmation of a female warrior tribe, known as Amazons, living among the Scythians of central Asia.

The grave was first found in 1988

The grave was first found in 1988Credit: Vladimir Semyonov11A range of warrior grave goods were buried with the girl

A range of warrior grave goods were buried with the girlCredit: A.Yu. Makeeva

The Amazons were a tribe mentioned in Greek mythology and numerous archeologists have worked to try and prove they existed.

According to the Siberian Times, researcher Dr. Kilunovskaya said: “It was so stunning when we just opened the lid and I saw the face there, with that wart, looking so impressive.”

A drawing of the remains when they were first found11

A drawing of the remains when they were first foundCredit: Marina Kilunovskaya

The girl is said to have a ‘rough seam’ on the skin of her abdomen, implying that mummification was attempted.

She was buried in a leather cap and next to a complete set of weapons.

These included an axe, a bow and a selection of arrows made of bronze, bone and wood.

She was buried in a leather cap11

She was buried in a leather capCredit: V.S. Busova

The remains were initially identified as a boy because no beads or grave goods usually associated with a girl were found.

Today we have modern technology that can look at genetics rather than just items.

This was her axe11

This was her axeCredit: A.Yu. Makeeva

Dr Kilunovskaya said: “We were recently offered the chance to undertake tests to determine the sex, age, and genetic affiliation of the buried warrior.

“We agreed with pleasure and got such a stunning result.”

These tests were conducted at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Dr  Kilunovskaya in the Siberian Times: “The burial of the child with weapons introduces a new touch to the social structure of early nomadic society.

“This discrepancy in the norms of the funeral rite received an unexpected explanation: firstly, the young man turned out to be a girl, and this young ‘Amazon’ had not yet reached the age of 14 years.

“The results of genome-wide sequencing, which showed that a girl was buried in a wooden coffin, were unexpected.

“This opens up a new aspect in the study of the social history of Scythian society and involuntarily returns us to the myth of the Amazons that survived thanks to Herodotus.”

She was buried in a selection of clothes11

She was buried in a selection of clothesCredit: Vladimir Semyonov

The suspected warrior girl was dressed in a long double-breasted fur coat when she died.

This was made of a fluffy rodent from the jerboa family and sewn in a patchwork pattern.

She even had a belt11She even had a beltCredit: V.S. BusovaHer bow came with many arrows11

Her bow came with many arrowsCredit: A.Yu. Makeeva

The researchers also think she was wearing a shirt and beige trousers or a skirt but a lot of evidence for this has decayed.

Her coffin was hollowed from a single piece of wood and she was only buried one metre underground.

Ancient Greek texts mention warrior women who threw javelins11

Ancient Greek texts mention warrior women who threw javelinsCredit: A.Yu. Makeeva

Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about female warriors in his famous texts.

One example reads: “Their women, so long as they are virgins, ride, shoot, throw the javelin while mounted, and fight with their enemies.

“They do not lay aside their virginity until they have killed three of their enemies, and they do not marry before they have performed the traditional sacred rites.

“A woman who takes to herself a husband no longer rides, unless she is compelled to do so by a general expedition.”

 

 

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