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Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head


Intriguing new details have emerged about a medieval mummy known for her 'Adidas' boots - which she wore more than a millennia ago.

Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head
Scientists believe the body of a woman found in April last year, died up to 1,100 years ago from a blow to the head 
[Credit: The Mongolian Observer/The Center of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia/Siberian Times]
The body of the woman was discovered a year ago this week in the Altai mountains region of Mongolia.

And her body and possessions remained so remarkably preserved that experts are still uncovering some of the secrets they keep.

Now, scientists have discovered that the mummy suffered a significant blow to the head before her death. 

Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head
Her trademark felt boots - which feature red and black stripes and metal buckle work - have been
 carefully cleaned and restored [Credit: The Mongolian Observer/The Center of Cultural 
Heritage of Mongolia/Siberian Times]
The Mongolian woman - aged between 30 and 40 - hit headlines in April 2016, thanks to her modern-looking footwear, which some likened to a pair of trainers.

In the intervening 12 months, scientists have been working to find out more about the mysterious Mongolian mummy.

Experts from the Centre of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia now believe the woman died up to 1,100 years ago after suffering a serious head wound.

Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head
The items of clothing found, like this jacket, were decorated with fine embroidery patterns 
[Credit: The Mongolian Observer/The Center of Cultural Heritage 
of Mongolia/Siberian Times]
Initial examinations found that 'it was quite possible that the traces of a blow to the mummy's facial bones were the cause of her death'.

They are still seeking to verify the exact age of the burial, but they estimate it took place in the tenth century - more recently than originally thought.

The high altitude and cold climate helped to preserve both the woman's body and her belongings.

Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head
Experts believe she may have been a seamstress, due to a variety of sewing equipment which was found inside her bag,
 as well as the embroidery on her clothing [Credit: The Mongolian Observer/The Center of 
Cultural Heritage of Mongolia/Siberian Times]
And a coating of Shilajit - a thick, sticky tar-like substance with a colour ranging from white to dark brown - that covered her body aided this process.

Some skin and hair can be seen on her remains, which were wrapped in felt.

The woman was buried alongside a number of her possessions - including a handbag and four changes of clothes.

Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head
Despite her seemingly lavish possessions archaeologists believe she was an 'ordinary' women of her time,
 rather than an aristocrat or royal [Credit: The Mongolian Observer/The Center of 
Cultural Heritage of Mongolia/Siberian Times]
A comb and a mirror from her beauty kit were also found, along with a knife.

Her horse and a saddle with metal stirrups in such good condition that it could be used today were buried as well.

But despite her seemingly lavish possessions archaeologists believe she was an 'ordinary' women of her time, rather than an aristocrat or royal.

Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head
The preserved remains of a horse were uncovered at the burial site [Credit: The Mongolian Observer/
The Center of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia/Siberian Times]
'Judging by what was found inside the burial, we guess that she was from an ordinary social strata,' added Mr Enkhbat.

'Various sewing utensils were found with her.

'This is only our guess, but we think she could have been a seamstress.'

Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head
A saddle with metal stirrups in such good condition that it could be used today were found alongside it 
[Credit: The Mongolian Observer/The Center of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia/Siberian Times]
'Inside (her bag) was the sewing kit and since the embroidery was on both the bag and the shoes, we can be certain that the embroidery was done by locals.'

The grave was unearthed at an altitude of 9,200ft (2,803 metres) and the woman is believed to be of Turkic origin.

It appears to be the first complete Turkic burial in Central Asia.

Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head
The Mongolian woman is believed to have been aged between 30 and 40 when she died. Some skin and hair 
can be seen on her remains, which were wrapped in felt [Credit: The Mongolian Observer/
The Center of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia/Siberian Times]
A host of possessions were found in the grave, offering a unique insight into life in medieval Mongolia.

These included a saddle, bridle, clay vase, wooden bowl, trough, iron kettle, the remains of an entire horse, and ancient clothing.

There were also pillows, a sheep's head and felt travel bag in which were placed the whole back of a sheep, goat bones and small leather bag designed to carry a cup. 

Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head
Experts from the Centre of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia have worked for the past 12 months 
to restore the items they found buried [Credit: The Mongolian Observer/
The Center of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia/Siberian Times]
Archaeologists from the city museum in Khovd were alerted to the burial site by local herdsmen.

The Altai Mountains - where the burial was discovered - unite Siberia, in Russia, and Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan.

Author: Will Stewart | Source: DailyMail [April 13, 2017]
TANN

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