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  • Tattoo on the Right Arm of a Tribal Chief

    Technique:
    tattooed
    Dimensions:
    60x28 cm

Tattoo on the Right Arm of a Tribal Chief

Created: Russia. Pazyryk Culture. 5th century BC

Found: Pazyryk Barrow no. 2 (excavations by S.I. Rudenko). Altai Mountains, Pazyryk Boundary, the Valley of the River Bolshoy Ulagan

The body of a chief, found in Pazyryk Barrow no. 2, was covered with tattoos, which unfortunately are poorly preserved. The tattoos can be better seen on the right side of the body. The right arm from the wrist to the shoulder bears the representations of six fantastic antlered beasts, their hind quarters twisted around. The right leg from the kneecap to the ankle is covered with the representation of a fish. On the chest is a tiger with a spiralling tail. On the left arm are two stags and a leaping moufflon. Earlier a tattoo was thought to indicate a man’s high social status. However, recent investigations of the mummies from the Pazyryk barrows have revealed that all of them have tattoos. The pictures are made in the so-called Scytho-Siberian zoomorphic style. They portray the images of certain animals and scenes of predators’ attacking hoofed animals (" the scenes of tearing animals to pieces")

Title:

Tattoo on the Right Arm of a Tribal Chief

Place:

Epoch. Period:

Archaeological site:

Pazyryk Barrow no. 2 (excavations by S.I. Rudenko)

Material:

Technique:

tattooed

Dimensions:

60x28 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1949; handed over by the Gorno-Altaisk archaeological expedition of the Institute of the History of Material Culture

Inventory Number:

1684-298

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