The Siberian council of elders really doesn't want the gate to the underworld to stay open.
The Siberian Ice Maiden, also known as the Princess of Ukok, Altay Princess or Ochi-Bala, is to be put back in her tomb thanks to a campaign by Altay Region spiritual leaders and elders, who are worried that as long as she stays in the hands of scientists the gate to the underworld will remain open. Locals blame the removal of the Ice Princess for recent floods and earthquakes, and want her returned as soon as possible.
"The council of elders has taken its decision," says councilman Akay Kine. "So the mummy of the revered woman will finally be buried." Nobody is entirely sure how; the scientists studying her are bound to object, legislation concerning the archaeological find will need to be changed so the mummy can be treated as simple human remains, and the council has yet to agree how the burial will take place. Some kind of ceremony is needed, but what?
The Ice Maiden, discovered in 1993, is a 5th Century BCE burial, over 2,500 years old, and is one of the most significant recent Russian archaeological discoveries. Also one of the most controversial, as local activists have fought to prevent further excavations at the site and to return the body to its tomb.
The facial reconstruction seen here represents part of the problem; though the artist recreated what appears to be a Caucasian face, with no Mongolian features, Altai experts complain the artist made her completely European. DNA testing has since confirmed the Ice Maiden cannot be an ancestor of the people living in the Altay Region now, and has more in common with Germans or Basques than the Altay people.