Here's something that came up on megalithic.co.uk . Their member, jess, recalls a BBC documentary on the Ice Maiden as what sparked her passion for archaeology . The video, (in five parts) is well worth a watch . Jess has provided the first part in-line . Here are links to the five at YouTube :
This site's Archaeo News forum also has topics which include the Altai region, as a search will reveal . Here are three links :
- New tomb for 'Altai Princess' to be built in Siberia .
Ancient 'warrior' found in permafrost .
Traces of hunting magic discovered in Altai caves .
Of special interest to me is that the woman, who had many tattoos, and whom "DNA tests and facial reconstruction have suggested [...] was ethnically European", carried a mirror at her belt ~ (video #3 @ 4 minutes) ~ with the image of a deer carved on the back . The symbolism of the mirror is said to have been important to the ancient Chinese . It was also demonstrably important to the distant Picts, an enigmatic and roughly contemporaneous people in Scotland, who carved its image into some of their stones along with that of a comb . As well, (per the reconstructed model), her face had a large nose ~ something ubiquitous in profile representations of people within Pictish carving ; and, (video #2 @ 9 minutes), that some of the carved wooden animals found with her bear a u-shaped cut, (representing the musculature of their haunches), the form of which can strongly recal the Pictish symbol of the u-curve .
A gallery of Pictish stones .
Wikipedia on Pazyryk burials .
Her best displayed tattoo, (on the left shoulder), is of an animal ~ said to be part horse, part goat and part deer ~ whose antlers become flowers at their points ; (video #4 @ 4'40") . It is a good tattoo, and i would like to know where photos of the rest can be found . Of interest in this context might be the Scottish Goddess of creation and Queen of Wintertime, Beira :
After the mountains were all formed, Beira took great delight in wandering between them and over them. She was always followed by wild animals. The foxes barked with delight when they beheld her, wolves howled to greet her, and eagles shrieked with joy in mid-air. Beira had great herds and flocks to which she gave her protection -- nimble-footed deer, high-horned cattle, shaggy gray goats, black swine, and sheep that had snow-white fleeces. She charmed her deer against the huntsmen, and when she visited a deer forest she helped them to escape from the hunters. During early winter she milked the hinds on the tops of mountains, but when the winds rose so high that the froth was blown from the milking pails, she drove the hinds down to the valleys. The froth was frozen on the crests of high hills, and lay there snow-white and beautiful. When the winter torrents began to pour down the mountain sides, leaping from ledge to ledge, the people said: "Beira is milking her shaggy goats, and streams of milk are pouring down over high rocks."
~ from sacred-texts.com
Postscript : If deer were abundant, (and i note that the deer also played a prominent role in the Scottish poet Sorley MacLean's poem Hallaig), it would likely have meant a different and more forested landscape back in their time . In this vein, i consider the rock carving shown in video #4 @ 1'48", (beyond the Statue Menhir @ 1'43"), to be a Toadstool Diety with a collecting basket ~ perhaps for the soul of the deceased, or to carry those who would wish to commune with them ...I harp on this, i know... It seems possible to me that Amanita muscaria was used in the religious and/or communing-with-ancestors practice of ancient times in temperate and boreal Eurasia .
Postscript 2 : The subtitle should read : "including the Ice Maiden / Altai Princess" . Double 's' ; my bad .