Mummy of contention




Rebelled against the archaeologists Altai public

Dmitry Filimonov

10 years ago, archaeologists have unearthed in Gorny Altai Scythian mummy. She dubbed the Altai Princess. Today, people of Altai requires bury the mummy back. To stop an earthquake.

Altai Mountains shakes for six months. Two tremors a day. First, start howling dogs, then rattle window panes. The earth travels in waves, mountains of water hit. Shamans promise an end.

Residents of the affected villages write letters to the authorities — in Altay. First asked to send tents, small stoves and feed for livestock. But whether the letter to the authorities do not reach, or do not read their power. And the head of the republic — and at a pre-election vacation.

Okay, people built their huts, packed the stove of broken bricks, began to cut cattle — still will die because of hunger.

Then people will know that the federal budget allocated 500 million rubles. The restoration of the damage. People thought that the money allocated to them. Again, start writing letters to the Altay: where is the money? Once again, the letters do not reach the authorities.

When the inhabitants of the destroyed village Beltir — the old man and a boy — killed themselves, all agreed that it was of hopelessness. And then in the affected areas an epidemic of suicides. Shaman said, "It's the curse of the Altai Princess".

And people wrote another letter.

"We, the indigenous people of the Altai Mountains, are pagans and worship nature. All excavations that were carried out and are carried out in the Altai, cause us irreparable damage. Ignoring the opinion of the people, exported priceless treasure, the spiritual heritage of the Altai. Thus, Ukok Kosh Agach area was opened burial mound, where there was a tattooed young woman of noble birth. For the Altai people she was a sacred relic — the guardian of peace and grandeur of our nation. Altai Princess is now stored at the Novosibirsk museum. As pagans, we have no doubt that the soul Altai Princess rebels and demands upokoit finally her ashes. Associated with this tragic events of recent months. We, the residents of the village Oroktoy, appeal to the people of the Altai Republic with a call to support us and to demand the return of the sacred relics. "

This letter came to the authorities. As well as other collective letters demanding to bury the mummy.

Under the requirement to have signed maralovody, loggers, livestock, masons, milkmaids, machine, shepherds, doctors, combiners, teachers, unemployed and Auelhan Dzhatkambaev, the head of the most affected by the earthquake Kosh-Agach.

Collective letters discussed by the government. The head of the republic went on television. "Come back!" — Promised the head.

Forced landing

The mummy was excavated in the summer of 1993. Ukok Plateau. 2500 meters above sea level. Mountain goats, snow leopards, and border guards. And mounds. In the sixties, during the conflict with China, built a fortified here. Stones for bunkers guards took with mounds. One of them — the half-dismantled, next to the barbed wire — and chose archaeologist Natalya Polosmak. Fair mound — small, not the king.

— What are you, a girl, mounds on the Ukok missing? — Asked her husband and teacher Academician Vyacheslav Molodin. — He's for sure robbed.

But the girl put her.

A week later her team unearthed the early Iron Age burial. When it cleared, it turned out that it was "admitted" burial later. And under it — one more thing. Bottom burial was in the ice lens. This means that the bottom of the burial chamber, as in the freezer, it could save a lot of interesting things.

On the finding reported to the base — to the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences. Soon, a helicopter flew from Novosibirsk whole team of archaeologists and journalists from Switzerland, Belgium, the USA, Japan and Germany.

Burial chamber were opened under the gun camcorders and cameras. Not a single day. The burial chamber — a wooden frame. Inside — the ice. It melted with hot water from the mugs. Melt water scooped too thinly.

In ice lay six horses — the saddles, with a harness. And a wooden deck, boarded up with bronze nails. In these decks, cut from larch, noble people were buried.

The mummy was lying on his right side, legs slightly bent. In the hands — tattoos. On the mummy was a silk shirt, wool skirt, felt socks, coat and wig …

Together with the findings of archaeologists evacuated home by two helicopters. Between Barnaul and Novosibirsk helicopter, which was flying Natalya with a mummy, made an emergency landing — one of the engines stalled. Got to Novosibirsk machines.

From the local press: "The helicopter, which transported the mummy of Altai Princess crashed. Everybody who was on board were killed. Mummy Princess remained intact."

A world sensation

The first step was discharged from the Moscow expert on mummies. From the Research Centre of biological structures. The very center, which is engaged in preservation of Lenin's body. The capital biologists have agreed to restore the mummy for 15 million rubles.

While the Altai Princess were soaked in baths of Lenin, dozens of research institutes — Russian and foreign — have been studying its fragments. Discovery was a worldwide sensation. Age — 2500 years. Condition of the tissue to such a ripe old age — is satisfactory. Specialists of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of DNA isolated from tissues of the mummy. And found out that genetics.

"They (DNA fragments) is not the size of the deletion of 9 bp, which is a direct marker indicating the presence of the East Asian components." In other words, the blood was not flowing Mongoloids in the veins of the princess. Altai also belong to the Mongoloid race. Facial reconstruction from the skull confirmed the findings of genetics: the princess Caucasoid features. Further studies showed that the role of most of her descendants can claim the Nenets and Selkups.

Altai Princess is not the mother of the Altai people? Oh, it would be better Altai people did not know that!

From the local press: "Molodin, Polosmak and the company created its own anti-people race theory."

Scythian Gold

Archaeologists and above obstructed, the locals are not allowed to dig up the mounds. However, after the publication of the results of genetic research of archaeologists rebelled against the wounded community.

Treatment of Altai intelligentsia: "… Despite the claims of some leaders of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the fact that the burial mounds of Scythian epoch" is not your ancestors' — we think differently. Flimsy thesis is the lack of a genetic link with the people of Altai — there is a biased approach to the history of the Turkic peoples. Altai We are against turning the land into one ugly-excavation pit. Extracted from the mound the embalmed body of the young women we are obliged to return to the place of rest. No scientific interests can not and should not outweigh the religious and moral sentiments of the entire nation. "

In response to the public the Government of the Republic of Altai Announces Ukok "zone of peace." Excavations on the plateau are prohibited. Archaeologists secretly penetrate the plateau — a circuitous route through Kazakhstan. Archaeologists catches angered the public and the police. But archaeologists do not violate federal law, they can not be expelled, they have permission to dig — the "open list".

10 years on the Ukok — and 9 years of war. During this time, opened the mound 23. Found a mummy.

But why not in the mounds of gold? In the Scythian burial mounds should be gold — says the public. In the Altai region is a rumor, if gold does not, then, archaeologists conceal it.

— This fur coat — said the academician Molodin — the oldest in the world. Above all gold.

Sarcophagus for a princess

Meanwhile, the fight for the princess continues. The Government of the Republic allocates money to local history museum — the purchase of two air conditioners. They are installed in the room where the mummy to be kept — to maintain the proper temperature of 18 degrees.

From the letter of the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Altai director of the Institute of Archaeology: "According to the agreement between your institution and the Ministry of the transfer of mummies Ukok woman with a report that the museum completes the preparatory work for its reception and storage. Ask you to decide on the sarcophagus. Desirable to exhibit it in the a sarcophagus, and not in another. For many years it was this sarcophagus was her "home". Ministry of Culture is ready to discuss the issue of the cost of a sarcophagus. "

Local press reported that the money spent on the two air conditioners, designed the poor, but the poor are more willing to starve — most importantly, to the princess back.

Reply director of the Institute of Archaeology of the Minister of Culture: "Much to my regret, the question of the possible transfer of the mummy was complicated by the fact that, according to lawyers, signing a cooperation protocol, I had exceeded his authority."

Dialogue frustrated. Air conditioners cool an empty room. The poor were left without money and without the princess.

A local newspaper: "The archaeologists who participated in the excavation of the Altai Princess, one after the other died a mysterious death."

— We turn excavations in the Altai, — said the academician Molodin. — Work it becomes dangerous.

Mausoleum for the mummy

The public is split in two of the Altai Mountains. Some require bury the princess. Other — put in a mausoleum.

Rima M. Erkinova — from the latter. Rima M. — Director of the Museum. On her desk — the layout of the mausoleum. Government allocated 2 million rubles for the architectural design. "Our Princess" — says Rima M..

Ivan Itulovich Belekov — for the mausoleum. Ivan Itulovich — Minister of Culture. He does not know how much it will cost construction. But I think that a lot of money. And he knows that the country has no such money. However, confident that construction will begin next year.

Vladimir Kuchukovich Sabine — for something to bury. Vladimir Kuchukovich — Member E Qurultay. He holds a photograph: poachers skinned with the mountain goat. "Molodin is no different from them, — said Vladimir Kuchukovich. — The body should lie in the ground. Where'd you get it — and lay there."

Vladimir Emilievich Kydyev — for something to bury. Vladimir Emilievich — a board member of the Congress of the Altai people. "Before you dig, you had to ask permission of the spirits," — said Vladimir Emilievich. He's going to write the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He is confident that the Commissioner will bury the princess.

— We are ready to discuss the issue of the transfer of a mummy in the Altai museum — said the academician Molodin. — On her grave is not out of the question.


March 7, President Putin signed a decree on the celebration of the 250th anniversary of entry into the Russian Altai. The anniversary will be celebrated in 2006. Leaders of the Altai people hope that the anniversary of Russia will present a princess.

And before you know it, and earthquakes stop.
Gorno-Altai, Novosibirsk

The object of exceptional value

Bury princess — then hurt her?

Altai Princess falls under the law "On Cultural heritage (monuments of history and culture) of the Russian Federation." The law stipulates that the archaeological finds are the objects of cultural heritage of federal importance.

Article 25 states: "Cultural heritage is an outstanding … archaeological value can be attributed to the objects of the world's cultural heritage." Mummy Altai Princess — surely object of exceptional value.

Article 61 provides for liability for it. "Those who cause harm to the object of cultural heritage, are required to reimburse the cost of restoration work that does not exempt such persons from criminal responsibility."

Bury the princess sits in jail.

And like the others?

From the materials of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

"National legal systems provide that everything found in the earth belongs to either the state or the land owner. This allowed archaeologists to buy in the United States ownership of the skeletons and other things found in ancient burial sites of the indigenous peoples.

However, the Court of Louisiana ruled that several graves Indian tunic-biloski belong to the surviving members of the tribe. Thus was created a precedent in respect of which a number of U.S. states have passed laws on the protection of indigenous peoples' graves. And the federal government introduced a law on the protection of Native American graves and the return of exported items.

All museums funded by the government should make an inventory of existing in their collections of human remains of indigenous peoples and to notify the relevant indigenous peoples. When you receive a request human remains should be returned.

Any human remains, objects that are in the graves that continue to be found on state-owned land, declared the property of the modern indigenous groups that have a "cultural link" with the found. "

Ramses I came back!

March 10, 2004. The mummy of Pharaoh Ramses I, the United States returned to Egypt, was greeted at home with royalty.

In the city of Luxor on the Nile, where he was buried Pharaoh, who is considered an outstanding military leader of ancient Egypt, gilded sarcophagus met military guard of honor and a military band played the national anthem, and a delegation of representatives of government, parliament and the provincial authorities, scientists and several thousand foreign tourists and residents.

The motorcade drove the sarcophagus to the Karnak temple in the Valley of the Pharaohs, where the mummy rested until 1860, when it was taken out of Egypt.

Recently, she was in the Museum of the American city of Atlanta. "The Return of the mummy — an act of good will the residents of Atlanta," — said the representative of the government of Egypt to journalists.


See also: Strange archaeological finds, Weapons of ancient man.

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