An ancient chieftain couple who owned the world’s oldest carpets are undergoing their first medical check in 2,200 years to throw new light on their lives as prehistoric Siberian potentates.
The tattooed Altai Mountain royals were entombed in ice in their burial mound, preserving their remains for thousands of years until Soviet archeologists excavated the site in the Stalin era.
But now modern technology being used to obtain secrets of the life and death of these mummies, believed to be a curly-haired chieftain and his pig-tailed wife or concubine.
Their mummified bodies have undergone scans with the latest medical technology and now the tomograph images will be studied by radiologists, biological anthropologists, archaeologists and other scientists.
‘The aim is to establish the cause of death, reconstruct the appearance of the ancient pair, and to study the techniques of mummification in more detail,’ according to one account.
The remains have been held in the world famous Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg since 1949.
The couple are famous for both the elaborate tattoos on their skin and also the two oldest carpets in the world which include remarkable images of the life of the ancient Pazyryk culture in Siberia several hundred years before the birth of Christ.
Most treasures were from the grave – inside a burial mound 137ft in diameter – were robbed in the deep past.
The couple are famous for the elaborate tattoos on their skin. The woman has no tattoos on her shoulders, but many on her forearms
One of the carpets – 21 ft by 15 ft – was probably a wall hanging before being used as part of the burial ceremony