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August 27, 2012
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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.
Add a Comment:
 
:icondragonsfly006:
DrAgOnSfLy006 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
By the way thanks for the inspiration!!!
Reply
:icondragonsfly006:
DrAgOnSfLy006 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
[link]

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.
Reply
:iconyondoloki:
yondoloki Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Took the challenge!!

And ended up with an eskimo xD
[link]
Reply
:iconfatl-ephant:
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
Reply
:iconunicornsaint:
UnicornSaint Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This design is so graceful! I would love to have a tatoo like that
Reply
:iconflyaway-555:
FlyAway-555 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, those tats are beautiful!
Nothing creative comes to mind, but wow.
Reply
:iconhinotechi:
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.
Reply
:iconorcbruto:
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:
Reply
:icondracothrope:
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!
Reply
:iconfaestock:
faestock Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Professional Photographer
those tattoos are sweet!
Reply
:iconannaoi:
annaoi Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really seems interesting! I'll try to sketch something whenever I recover from my artblock.
Reply
:iconakiremeg:
akiremeg Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
yep. I'm totally inspired to do this. :happybounce: I'm just not sure when though. I've been caught up in too much school work these days, but I'll still try my very best. :happybounce:
Reply
:iconimtheartisan:
imtheartisan Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
he he he "This isn't a contest or anything..."
Do you have a mutant power to read minds? :P
Reply
:iconrobynrose:
RobynRose Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
nah, just that the last thing I posted was a contest, and this was just something interesting that I found while browsing that I wanted to share.
Reply
:iconimtheartisan:
imtheartisan Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
you made the point... its pretty cool...

She was very curious about tattoos ... I've seen some tattoos similarities between Wirikuta Huichol indigenous community in Mexico ... one of the pictures looks like a deer Wirikuta. :) It brought back many memories of my friends shamans.
Reply
:iconyurika-sketches:
yurika-sketches Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist
i would love to have these tattooed on me when i die XD
Reply
:iconslavicwolf:
SlavicWolf Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmmmm I will take some time this weekend to provide yu with my answer... if i can get my scanner to work.
Reply
:iconkiraravenlupin:
KiraRavenLupin Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome!
Reply
:iconlily1991:
lily1991 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Must...draw...O-o
Reply
:iconlouisiferdesigns:
LouisiferDesigns Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012   Traditional Artist
Very cool thanks for sharing! Also I would like to say it makes me want to be mummified. Too bad I don't think I could afford being mummified.
Reply
:iconsyoshiko:
SYoshiko Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
what a cool idea for inspiration.
Reply
:iconelandria:
Elandria Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
That deer tattoo... effing rocks! How incredible that the pigment is still that strong after all this time!
Reply
:iconrobynrose:
RobynRose Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
Tattoos are forever, kids!
Reply
:icondawnsentinel:
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
Dang, this makes me WANT tattoos...
Reply
:iconnafanua123:
Nafanua123 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
She looks awesome!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconadnega:
adnega Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The timing of this is awful!! It's such an awesome/inspiring idea, but i'm already in the middle of 4 other projects (two of which are actually time sensitive!!)... how could you do this to me?!
Reply
:iconbangbangteng:
bangbangteng Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The bottom two photos are of the tattoos found on her warriors, found with her.
Reply
:iconbuniculabuffy:
buniculabuffy Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
that giant deer on her left shoulder is AMAZING
if i ever got a tattoo, that would probably be it
Reply
:iconsultanaofstars:
SultanaOfStars Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Sweet tats, especially the one in the 2nd picture!
Reply
:icontired-hands:
Tired-Hands Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
Her tattoos look Celtic and all Indo-European migrations came from somewhere in Russian, or so they say, but the area is devoid of evidence of a major civilization. Thanks for the up.
Reply
:iconmovchen:
Movchen Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Student General Artist
I was just looking for some inspiration to break this art block and this seems to be exactly what I was looking for :D
This is so cool! Thanks for sharing!
Reply
:iconmanic-medic:
manic-medic Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a very cool piece of history and archaeology! Thanks for sharing :)
Reply
:iconhightopkinsleighfan:
HightopKinsleighFAN Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
LOL I was just musing to myself, "I wish someone would give me an idea to draw something..."
Then I found this!
Thank you so much!
Reply
:icondisrhythmic:
disrhythmic Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
That is the most epic deer tat I've ever seen. :D
Reply
:iconlinnzy:
Linnzy Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"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." - I like that...it sounds like there's a story hidden somewhere in those words....
Reply
:iconverve-soliloquy:
Verve-Soliloquy Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
Wow, what a neat piece of inspiration!! She looks absolutely beautiful as she is, but if a rainy day occurs any time soon, I'll know exactly what to sketch! Thanks, my friend!
Reply
:iconartysk:
ARTYSK Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Student General Artist
A Princess with Tattoos? OK... :?
Reply
:iconxyloverflow:
Xyloverflow Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Different cultures have different things, I think it's really cool! :D
Reply
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