2500 year old tattooed Siberian mummy had breast cancer

In 1993, Russian scientist Natalia Polosmak discovered the remains of a 25-year-old woman covered in tattoos who came to be known as the Ukok Princess. Now, an MRI has revealed that the young woman was suffering from breast cancer as well as a bone marrow infection at the time of her death, and scientists have stated that she most likely used cannabis to treat herself.

“During the imaging of mammary glands, we paid attention to their asymmetric structure and the varying asymmetry of the MR signal,” Andrey Letyagin, a physiology professor from the Russian Academy of Medical Science, told the [Siberian] Times. “We are dealing with a primary tumour in the right breast and right axial lymph nodes with metastases.”

“I am quite sure of the diagnosis,” he concluded. “She was extremely emaciated. Only cancer could have such an impact.”

In her burial chamber, there was a container of cannabis, which anthropologists assume she used out of necessity to ease her pain, as Pazyryks were quite familiar with cannabis and possibly other natural analgesics. They also believe that the ‘princess’ may have actually been a shaman, as Siberian Times reports:

We can suggest that through her could speak the ancestral spirits and gods. Her ecstatic visions in all likelihood allowed her to be considered as some chosen being, necessary and crucial for the benefit of society. She can be seen as the darling of spirits and cherished until her last breath.

So yes, folks, the enlightened tattooed stoner is not endemic to a certain time period or geographical location. It has been a ‘thing’ for young people for millennia—behold the legacy of the twenty-something.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s