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Submitted on
August 27, 2012


29,130 (2 today)
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Found here at the Mary Sue

The mummified remains of "Princess" Ukok, as the scientists named her, was discovered nearly twenty years ago in the Altai mountain range in East-Central Asia. Kept for all that time in Novosibirsk, Russia, it was not until very recently that she's been revealed to the rest of us. But among the general wonder and fascination that always comes with finding mummified and ancient bodies, Princess Ukok has another: She's covered in remarkably preserved, completely badass tattoos.

People have been tattooing themselves and each other for almost as long as humanity has existed; it just seems embedded in human nature to adorn our bodies in one way or another, whether through cheap drugstore eyeshadow or ancient ritual inking.

From Buzzfeed:

    Princess Ukok and her warriors are believed to be members of the Pazyryk nomads who existed as early as the 5th century BC when they were described by the Greek historian Herodotus.

    Buried with Ukok, who died around the age of 25, were a meal of sheep and horse meat and six horses with bridles perhaps meant to escort her to the next world and most definitely evidence of her status in her tribe. From what knowledge has survived of Pazyryk culture, we know the tattoos were a from of identification, like a driver's license, meant to make it easier to find your family members after death.

Elena Shumakova of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography drew some beautiful reconstructions of the tattoos that cover the bodies of Princess Ukok and her warriors.

Challenge: What would princess Ukok look like alive?

This isn't a contest or anything, I just thought it might provide some inspiration if you're looking for something to draw today.
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DrAgOnSfLy006 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
By the way thanks for the inspiration!!!
DrAgOnSfLy006 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist

This is how my version turned out to be. I worked on it for hours and I still see room for improvment, I guess I was just eager to get it posted.
yondoloki Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012  Student General Artist
Took the challenge!!

And ended up with an eskimo xD
fatL-ephant Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This is so cool! I've been keeping this post to remind me in the hope that I'll find time to draw this. Hopefully soon? sigh... If only i didn't have to work :P
UnicornSaint Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This design is so graceful! I would love to have a tatoo like that
FlyAway-555 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, those tats are beautiful!
Nothing creative comes to mind, but wow.
Hinotechi Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I scrolled down to the pictures first and was really stunned by how well preserved she was. It's very interesting (and inspiring) indeed!
I can totally imagine a tough girl with badass dark blonde hair in braids.
orcbruto Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Wow! Sooooo beautiful!
It's why I became an archaeologist! It's just priceless to find someone like this princess and lost yourself wondering about how the world were in her time, what were her feelings, how did she died, what was her last meal... It's so magical :love:
dracothrope Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012
Sort of unrelated, but I've loved that tattoo series so very much. I made a character loosely based around the idea of having great big tattoos over the shoulder and chest here.

Anyways, I bet that she would have been a complete badass as they mention above... I can't wait to see what people come up with!
faestock Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Professional Photographer
those tattoos are sweet!
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