Ancient Domesticated Dog Skull Found in Siberian Cave: 33,000 Years Old

archaeologicalnews:

ScienceDaily — A 33,000-year-old dog skull unearthed in a Siberian mountain cave presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and, together with an equally ancient find in a cave in Belgium, indicates that modern dogs may be descended from multiple ancestors.

If you think a Chihuahua doesn’t have much in common with a Rottweiler, you might be on to something.

An ancient dog skull, preserved in a cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia for 33,000 years, presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and, together with equally ancient dog remains from a cave in Belgium, indicates that domestication of dogs may have occurred repeatedly in different geographic locations rather than with a single domestication event.

In other words, man’s best friends may have originated from more than one ancient ancestor, contrary to what some DNA evidence previously has indicated. Read more.

theossuary:

This is the Siberian Ice Maiden. She lived (probably nomadically and definitely tatted-up) on the steppes of Siberia sometime around the 5th century B.C. She was likely in her twenties when she died, and she was buried in the spring.
She was found in 1993 along with six horses and much finery. Fortunately for her discoverers, her grave flooded, causing a 2400-year-strong block of ice to fill out her hollow burial chamber. Unfortunately for you, I do not have a better picture to share.
From Wikipedia: 

 She may have had the elevated status of a priestess in her community based upon the items found in her chamber. The Ice Maiden’s preserved skin has the mark of an animal-style deer tattoo on one of her shoulders, and another on her wrist and thumb. She was buried in a yellow silk tussah blouse, a crimson-and-white striped wool skirt with a tassel belt, thigh-high white felt leggings, with a marten fur, a small mirror made from polished metal and wood with carved deer figures, and a headdress that stood nearly three feet tall. The size of the headdress necessitated a coffin that was eight feet long. The headdress had a wooden substructure with a molded felt covering and eight carved feline figures covered in gold. There were remains of coriander seeds in a stone dish that may have been provided for the Maiden’s medicinal use.

Others have speculated that the coriander seeds were meant to disguise the corpse smell.
Unfortunately #2, the handling and transport of her body after its discovery did not proceed without serious hiccups. From NOVA’s article “Unquiet Mummies”:

Soon after the Siberian Maiden was found, for example, her protective shroud of ancient ice melted away and she began to decay. Preserved intact for two millennia, she was now assaulted by airborne fungus and bacteria, dehydrated by low humidity, and struck by the first sunlight she’d seen in thousands of years. […] Within days it became apparent to the Russian archeologists who had discovered her that the mummy was degrading rapidly.
They helicoptered her to the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, but the unrefrigerated delay, including almost a week of transport, took its toll. Even in the freezer labs of Novosibirsk the mummy slept uncomfortably. Hardy fungus attacked air-exposed skin and began to damage it. Desperate to stop the decay of their prize, Russian scientists chose to inter her in the same kind of pickling vat that preserved the bodies of Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.

The Ice Maiden is one of several Iron Age burials found in the Pazyryk Valley, in Siberia’s Ukok Plateau. You can read more about the Pazyryk burials here.
Image source: Wikipedia.

theossuary:

This is the Siberian Ice Maiden. She lived (probably nomadically and definitely tatted-up) on the steppes of Siberia sometime around the 5th century B.C. She was likely in her twenties when she died, and she was buried in the spring.

She was found in 1993 along with six horses and much finery. Fortunately for her discoverers, her grave flooded, causing a 2400-year-strong block of ice to fill out her hollow burial chamber. Unfortunately for you, I do not have a better picture to share.

From Wikipedia

 She may have had the elevated status of a priestess in her community based upon the items found in her chamber. The Ice Maiden’s preserved skin has the mark of an animal-style deer tattoo on one of her shoulders, and another on her wrist and thumb. She was buried in a yellow silk tussah blouse, a crimson-and-white striped wool skirt with a tassel belt, thigh-high white felt leggings, with a marten fur, a small mirror made from polished metal and wood with carved deer figures, and a headdress that stood nearly three feet tall. The size of the headdress necessitated a coffin that was eight feet long. The headdress had a wooden substructure with a molded felt covering and eight carved feline figures covered in gold. There were remains of coriander seeds in a stone dish that may have been provided for the Maiden’s medicinal use.

Others have speculated that the coriander seeds were meant to disguise the corpse smell.

Unfortunately #2, the handling and transport of her body after its discovery did not proceed without serious hiccups. From NOVA’s article “Unquiet Mummies”:

Soon after the Siberian Maiden was found, for example, her protective shroud of ancient ice melted away and she began to decay. Preserved intact for two millennia, she was now assaulted by airborne fungus and bacteria, dehydrated by low humidity, and struck by the first sunlight she’d seen in thousands of years. […] Within days it became apparent to the Russian archeologists who had discovered her that the mummy was degrading rapidly.

They helicoptered her to the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, but the unrefrigerated delay, including almost a week of transport, took its toll. Even in the freezer labs of Novosibirsk the mummy slept uncomfortably. Hardy fungus attacked air-exposed skin and began to damage it. Desperate to stop the decay of their prize, Russian scientists chose to inter her in the same kind of pickling vat that preserved the bodies of Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.

The Ice Maiden is one of several Iron Age burials found in the Pazyryk Valley, in Siberia’s Ukok Plateau. You can read more about the Pazyryk burials here.

Image source: Wikipedia.

(via theossuary)