Sleeping Beauty has been found. She is a 2,000 year old mummy, buried in a stone grave on the shore of the Yenisei River, in Russia’s Republic of Khakassia. A drop in the water level in May revealed the grave, which had been safely hidden underwater, until then.
Archaeologists nicknamed the mummy Sleeping Beauty, because she has been buried for so long. They believe she was a noblewoman of great wealth, having been buried wearing a silk skirt, with a beaded belt that had a jet (precursor to coal) buckle. Items found with her were personal, and ornate: a vase, a round birch container holding a Chinese mirror wrapped in felt, and ceramic utensils. There also were meals and snacks, including a bag of pine nuts on her chest.
Sleeping Beauty was found in very good condition. Soft tissues and skin were intact, with the lower part of her body especially well preserved. Archaeologists attribute the excellence in preservation is due to the burial having been tightly closed with a stone lid, causing a natural mummification, and remaining undisturbed in water for such a long time.
Efforts to preserve the mummy’s remains are the next priority; and then studying items found within her grave are tasks set before archeologists and researchers. Having survived for 2,000 years in her watery grave, it is very important Sleeping Beauty is given every opportunity to share her secrets now that she has been found.