What was thought to be a warrior buried 2,600 years ago was actually a 12-year-old Amazon girl. Innovative techniques allowed to correctly identify the sex of the remains.
In 1988, a team of archaeologists found partially mummified remains of a young warrior buried in what is today the Tuva republic, Russia. The researchers believed that the remains belonged to a young boy, but now, 32 years later, they have discovered that this warrior was actually a 12-year-old girl.
Thanks to new technology, the same team of researchers revealed that the remains found may belong to an Amazon warrior. Originally, the Amazons were part of an ancient nation of female warriors from Greek mythology. The first reference in Hellenic literature is found in Homer’s Iliad, in the 18th century BC. The Greek author described them as “the opposite of man”.
Inside the tomb, estimated to be about 2,600 years old, various types of arrows have been found. In addition, there were also several other objects typically reserved for honorable warriors.
“We were recently offered the chance to undertake tests to determine the sex, age, and genetic affiliation of the buried warrior,” Marina Kilunovskaya, who led the investigation, told The Siberian Times. “We agreed with pleasure and got such a stunning result”. Paleogenetic analysis of the bones revealed that the warrior’s corpse was mistakenly identified as male.
“The results of genome-wide sequencing, which showed that a girl was buried in a wooden coffin, were unexpected,” said Kilunovskaya. “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.”