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Eastern Europe and Western Asia (The Pazyryk)

6th through 2nd Centuries

In 1948, an elaborately tattooed mummy was found in Pazyryk tombs about 120 miles north of the border between China and Russia.

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The Pazyryks were formidable Iron Age horsemen and warriors who lived in the steppes of Eastern Europe and Western Asia from the sixth to the second centuries BC. They left no written records but their artifacts demonstrate a sophisticated level of artistry and craftsmanship.

A Pazyryk chief who had died around 50 years old was discovered and it was found that his body was elaborately tattooed. He had a series of interlocking designs representing a variety of fantastic beasts.

Tattoo Museum Bibliography, Resources and Links

Asia Tattoo Map See all Western Asian Tattoo Culture Articles here

Additional Resources

NOVA Online -- Ice Mummies: Siberian Ice Maiden -- Some of the earliest examples of tattooing

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