Researchers investigating the 2,500-year-old mummy of a tattooed Siberian princess believe they may have cracked exactly how she died.
Her body’s now due to go on display in a museum but locals are concerned that disturbing the dead may ‘curse’ their lands with misfortune.
An MRI scan of the prehistoric princess, who was preserved in ice in the Altai mountains, has revealed that the 25-year-old died of breast cancer, The Mirror reports.
Their tests also revealed that the woman who’s become famous for her incredible tattoos, smoked cannabis before she died, potentially to help her in her battle with the deadly disease.
Meanwhile the The Siberian Times reports that she may have used drugs to alter her state of mind, leading her Pazyryk culture kinsmen to believe that she could talk to spirits.
The ancient woman will be shown at a museum in Gorno-Altaisk, Russia, which has annoyed natives in the region who claim that showing the mummy with her modern tattoos will unleash ‘evil spirits’.
The groups believe she should be returned to her tomb high atop the 8,200 feet high Ukok Plateau.
Local campaigner Akai Khan said:
The dead cannot be disturbed, and especially they cannot be held on public display and carried around the world. After she was dug out, we immediately saw earthquakes, floods, and hail which were not known previously.
It was originally thought that the backlash would prevent the exhibition, but in keeping with local superstitions the display will be opened to the public at the next full moon.
The museum has spoken with the embalming experts who keep the corpse of Vladimir Lenin preserved on how to maintain the mummy.
They’ve even developed a special wooden and glass sarcophagus for the exhibit and the princess will be partially covered by a ‘fur coat-style blanket’.