Science » Technologies and discoveries
Author`s name Alex Naumov

Mummy causes squabbling among authorities

In the Altai region an archeologist Natalya Polosmak found a mummy of a woman. She probably died at the age of 25 about 2500 years ago. The scientists have a unique opportunity to examine the clothes of the ancient representatives of so-called Puzirsk culture. Also, some tattoos are found on the woman’s body. Also, the tissue was very well preserved, which gave the scientists an opportunity to examine DNA and thus find a key to understanding the way Turkic race was originated. The body was found 15 years ago.

Since that time the story was covered with countless rumors. Someone didn’t take attention to the scientists trying to find the truth about the origin of the mummy. Without any investigation, they declared the mummy their new idol. They called it “princess”, “goddess”, and “the mother of Turkic race”.

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Then local “spiritual leaders” went further and started to earn political importance by accusing archeologists on “the princess’s revenge” that appeared in different social and ecological disasters – from the earthquake in 2003 to privilege monetization. Some administration representatives even proposed to bury the mummy again. That would mean that the possibility to hold a unique scientific investigation would be missed. But spiritual and political leaders of Altai didn’t care – they tried to unite people against “an enemy”. The enemy, they thought, were scientists.

It wasn’t just the politicians who spread nonsense. In 2006 one of central channels showed a film under the title “Revenge of Altaian princess”. This film could be a great topic for the talk-show “You won’t Believe It” rather than a documentary. However, many viewers believed every single word. The film stated said: “out of nowhere appeared clapping, thundering noise. The Altaian drivers that took archeologists to the mountains got scared and thought the spirit of the god Uokok are displeased to see unwanted guests”. In reality, archeologists revealed, there was no thunder. Moreover, there were no Altaian drivers. The cars were ridden by staff archeologists.

Translated by Lena Popina