A reconstruction of what Princess Ukok may have looked like.
Newly-released research on the Ukok Princess, a young woman frozen in ice over 2,500 years ago and discovered in 1993, has revealed that the Siberian maiden likely used cannabis to treat her breast cancer.
Researchers discovered the well-preserved mummy in the icy steppes of the Ukok Plateau in Russia, buried in an elaborate chamber filled with a varied assortment of belongings. Included in her funerary display were carved animal figurines, a table set with a feast, several horses, a cosmetic bag (complete with a face brush and vivianite eyeliner pencil), several pieces of jewelry, a Chinese mirror and a container filled with cannabis.
Scientists believe the woman was between 25 and 28 years old when she died with breast cancer. Although they’re not entirely certain that breast cancer was the actual cause of death, they’re fairly positive she used cannabis to treat the illness. According to Professor Natalia Polosmak, one of the archeologists to first discover the Pazyryk woman, using cannabis was a “forced necessity,” due to the advanced progression of her cancer.
It is thought that, because of the high quality of clothing she wore upon burial (a finely-woven wool skirt, silk blouse and a large, decorative headpiece), and the manner in which she was buried, she was likely considered a Shaman. According to researchers, her people felt her altered state of mind from cannabis use granted her the ability to communicate with the ancestral spirits and gods, and they revered her for this.
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