Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Silk Roads (Critical Concepts in Asian Studies) by various authors

The Silk Roads 

(Critical Concepts in Asian Studies) 

Hardcover– 8 Jul 2016

The Ruins of Time: Lost Libraries of the Silk Road

From BMW Art Journey

British artist Abigail Reynolds was selected for the third BMW Art Journey. Her project “The Ruins of Time: Lost Libraries of the Silk Road” will take her to China, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Iran, Italy and Egypt.

Abigail Reynolds’ artistic practice is closely linked to books and libraries. Having studied English literature at Oxford University, she frequently draws inspiration from books to imagine places and moments from the past, present and future. Libraries inform the conceptual framework of her work, which investigates communal forms of identities and socio-political power structures, and many of the materials she uses also derive from libraries. Given this deep connection to libraries and literature, it is no surprise that Reynolds’ BMW Art Journey project for 2017, “The Ruins of Time: Lost Libraries of the Silk Road,” is designed to allow her to connect the complex religious and secular narratives of Europe and Asia and to expand her current interests and working methods through a prolonged multi-continent series of visits to historic and fabled repositories of books.

The artist will trace as many as sixteen sites of libraries lost to political conflicts, looters, natural catastrophes, and war. Their tragedies date all the way back to 291 BC and to as recently as 2011. The journey will take her along the trajectory of the ancient Silk Road, which she will approach in two stages, starting from the Eastern and the Western end points, then travelling inwards as far as today’s conflict zones allow.

Conceptually, Abigail Reynolds intends to explore blanks and voids, with the library symbolising the impossibility of encompassing all knowledge—lost libraries even more so. “The research I have done towards this journey privileges the known,” the artist stated in her proposal for the Art Journey, “but it will bring me to question what we understand as knowledge. I do not want to embark on a history lesson, but on a philosophical journey.”
Along the way, Reynolds, an avid collector of books and images, will gather representations in various forms: 3D scans, photography, microscope imagery, written text, plans or cataloguing systems. Based on this extensive research, she intends to create a cluster of book forms, prints, collages, and 16mm film, the latter being her first attempt to work in this medium. Images, texts, and other documents originating from the experience will, after its conclusion, be included in a book—thus completing a journey that both starts and ends with the institution of the library.
In a joint statement, the five-member international jury said about their unanimous selection: “Abigail Reynolds submitted a monumental, poetic, and memorable proposal. Her articulate project links the contemporary to ancient history by researching destroyed libraries, a phenomenon that has continued for thousands of years. Her journey will take her along segments of the Silk Road, which has not lost any of its political and cultural resonance. It will be fascinating to see where this ambitious journey—which is so thoroughly rooted in her practice of translating literary materials into visual language—will take her, both physically and creatively.”

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Silk - Trade & Exchange along the Silk Roads between Rome and China in Antiquity edited by Berit Hildebrandt

Silk - Trade & Exchange along the Silk Roads between Rome and China in Antiquity 

Hardcover – 31 Oct 2016

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Mongol Rule in Seljuk Anatolia by Sara Nur Yildiz

Mongol Rule in Seljuk Anatolia: The Politics of Conquest and History-Writing 1243-1282 

(Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage) Hardcover – 30 Jul 2016

The History of Central Asia: The Age of Islam and the Mongols by Christoph Baumer

The History of Central Asia: The Age of Islam and the Mongols (Volume 3) Hardcover – 3 May 2016

Monday, 20 June 2016

The Mongol Empire

The Mongol Empire Hardcover – 30 Sep 2016

When Chinggis Khan ascended the pulpit of a mosque in Bukhara, Muslims across the world viewed the Mongols as a punishment sent by God for their sins. Yet, within a hundred years the Mongols were largely Muslim rulers and Islam had spread into new territories even as Muslim merchants dominated most of the trade routes, including China. How did this occur and what caused such an about face that transformed three-quarters of the Mongol Empire into an Islamic empire? This book seeks to answer these questions while examining the Mongol Empire's interactions with Muslims from its inception to its fall. During this period the Mongol Empire was transformed from an empire that conquered and then ruled Muslims to an empire that used Islamic forms of authority and legitimacy. The Empire promoted Islamic sciences and art and assisted the spread of ideas and goods through the Pax Mongolica and the Silk Road. While attention is given to the political and military history of the Mongols, this book also examines the empire from the perspective of its subjects, particularly its Muslim inhabitants. Furthermore, it examines the empire as an entity that changed through time and compares how the ecology, economics, religion, and the Chinggisid dynasty affected all portions of the empire.

Timothy May is Department Head and Associate Professor of Central Eurasian and Middle Eastern History at North Georgia College and State University. He is the author of The Mongol Art of War: Chinggis Khan and the Mongol Military System (2007) and Culture and Customs of Mongolia (2009).

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Power, Politics, and Tradition in the Mongol Empire and the Ilkhanate of Iran

Power, Politics, and Tradition in the Mongol Empire and the Ilkhanate of Iran

Hardcover – 1 Oct 2016

Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Silk Road A New Documentary History to 1400

The Silk Road

The Silk Road is iconic in world history; but what was it, exactly? It conjures up a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track, reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different--and far more interesting. In The Silk Road: A New History with Documents, Valerie Hansen describes the remarkable archeological finds that revolutionized our understanding of these trade routes. Hansen explores eight sites along the road, from Xi'an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism.

Designed for use in the classroom and based on the award-winning trade edition (OUP, 2012), The Silk Road: A New History with Documents offers a selection of excerpted primary sources in each chapter. The wide-ranging sources include memoirs of medieval Chinese monks and modern explorers, letters written by women, descriptions of towns, legal contracts, religious hymns, and many others. A new final chapter provides coverage of the Silk Road during the period of Mongol rule.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

1,000 year old Manuscripts written by ancient Silk Road family found in Afghanistan 13 June 2016

© National Library of Israel
Nearly 100 mysterious manuscripts thought to be 1,000 years old and written by a Jewish family that lived along the ancient Silk Road have been discovered in an Afghan cave. 
Scholars and historians are excited about this new cache of documents, which was purchased by Israeli antiquities dealer Lenny Wolfe six months ago.
He came across them as part of an ongoing search for the "Afghan Genizah," a reference to the Cairo Genizah collection of 300,000 Jewish manuscript fragments discovered in a synagogue storeroom in Egypt.
Written in a plethora of languages, including Aramaic, Hebrew, Persian, Judeo-Arabic, and Judeo Persian, these new documents are attributed to an 11th Century family headed by Abu Ben Daniel from the northern Afghan city of Bamyan, according to Haaretz.
They would have been quite familiar with the area’s two biggest attractions back then and up until 15 years ago - giant Buddha statues built in the 6th Century and blown up by the Taliban six months before the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Wolfe first purchased 29 of the documents in 2013, which he returned to Israel where they have been studied in the National Library.
Since then, he’s been on the lookout for more documents from the family’s archive, at the behest of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and purchased the new batch six months ago.
While Wolfe has yet to find a buyer from what he calls an "appropriate institution," it’s understood negotiations are ongoing and his asking price is unknown.
Experts believe the documents, which contain only text and no illustrations, were originally buried in a cave around a 1,000 years ago by the owners, with the cache consisting of a mixture of legal and commercial manuscripts and sacred and personal letters.
Wolfe came across a photograph of the documents "from southern Russia", according to Haaretz, before finding out in a European coffee shop that a Pakistani dealer had some of the ancient artifacts.
Of the documents which have been studied to date, Ofir Haim, a researcher from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says they give a fascinating insight into the lives of the Jewish community in Afghanistan of the time, such as where they lived, worked, and functioned as a family.
One such letter translated by Haim details how a man named Yair wrote to family head Abua Nassar about why he wasn’t returning to see his family in Bamyan.
“If I could have made a living in Bamyan, it is true that I would have fulfilled your wishes,” Yair’s letter reads, reported Haaretz. “You know that in my occupation, if I am missing from the store for a day, on that day I will lose everything.”
“Eggplants were not yet in abundance and so I did not send any. They were very small. I will send [some] next week,” Yair wrote in different letter, hinting at another reason why he is living in Bamyan.
Wolfe’s latest batch also includes a notebook which Abu Nassar used to keep track of all those who owed him money over several decades, with some not only owing money but also quantities of wheat or barley.
The several hundred entries, which are primarily Muslim names but did include Iranian Jewish names, allows historians to see how society worked at the time, particularly the economic problems they faced and how the different religions overlapped in day-to-day life.

Reuters 2 February 2012

Old Jewish scrolls found in Afghanistan 

Israeli professor says 150 documents dating back to 11th century provide 'exciting evidence' enabling researchers to study Jewish community's writings 

A cache of ancient Jewish scrolls from northern Afghanistan that has only recently come to light is creating a storm among scholars who say the landmark find could reveal an undiscovered side of medieval Jewry.

The 150 or so documents, dated from the 11th century, were found in Afghanistan's Samangan province and most likely smuggled out – a sorry but common fate for the impoverished and war-torn country's antiquities.

Israeli emeritus professor Shaul Shaked, who has examined some of the poems, commercial records and judicial agreements that make up the treasure, said while the existence of ancient Afghan Jewry is known, their culture was still a mystery.

"Here, for the first time, we see evidence and we can actually study the writings of this Jewish community. It's very exciting," Shaked told Reuters by telephone from Israel, where he teaches at the Comparative Religion and Iranian Studies department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The hoard is currently being kept by private antique dealers in London, who have been producing a trickle of new documents over the past two years, which is when Shaked believes they were found and pirated out of Afghanistan in a clandestine operation.

It is likely they belonged to Jewish merchants on the Silk Road running across Central Asia, said T. Michael Law, a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford University's Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

"They might have been left there by merchants travelling along the way, but they could also come from another nearby area and deposited for a reason we do not yet understand," Law said.

'Sold elsewhere for 10 times more'

Cultural authorities in Kabul had mixed reactions to the find, which scholars say is without a doubt from Afghanistan, arguing that the Judeo-Persian language used on the scrolls is similar to other Afghan Jewish manuscripts.

National Archives director Sakhi Muneer outright denied the find was Afghan, arguing that he would have seen it, but an advisor in the Culture Ministry said it "cannot be confirmed but it is entirely possible".

"A lot of old documents and sculptures are not brought to us but are sold elsewhere for 10 times the price," said advisor Jalal Norani, explaining that excavators and ordinary people who stumble across finds sell them to middlemen who then auction them off in Iran, Pakistan and Europe.

"Unfortunately, we cannot stop this," Norani said. The Culture Ministry, he said, pays on average $1,500 for a recovered antique item. The Hebrew University's Shaked estimated the Jewish documents' worth at several million dollars.

Thirty years of war and conflict have severely hindered both the collecting and preserving of Afghanistan's antiquities, and the Culture Ministry said endemic corruption and poverty meant many new discoveries do not even reach them.

Interpol and US officials have also traced looted Afghan antiquities to funding insurgent activities.

In today's climate of uncertainty, the National Archives in Kabul keep the bulk of its enormous collection of documents – some dating to the fifth century – under lock and key to prevent stealing.

Instead reproductions of gold-framed Pashto poems and early Korans scribed on deer skin, or vellum, are displayed for the public under the ornate ceilings of the Archives, which were the nineteenth century offices of Afghan King Habibullah Khan.

"I am sure Afghanistan, like any country, would like to control their antiquities... But on the other hand, with this kind of interest and importance, as a scholar I can't say that I would avoid studying them," said Shaked of the Jewish find.

Monday, 6 June 2016

The Mongol Unification of China

The Mongol Unification of China (Routledge Studies in the Early History of Asia) Hardcover – 30 Nov 2017

Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms

Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (10 Sept. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471114716

Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive and strange faiths: one regards the Greek prophets as incarnations of God, another reveres Lucifer in the form of a peacock, and yet another believes that their followers are reincarnated beings who have existed in various forms for thousands of years. These religions represent the last vestiges of the magnificent civilizations in ancient history: Persia, Babylon, Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. Their followers have learned how to survive foreign attacks and the perils of assimilation. But today, with the Middle East in turmoil, they face greater challenges than ever before. 

In Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms, former diplomat Gerard Russell ventures to the distant, nearly impassable regions where these mysterious religions still cling to survival. He lives alongside the Mandaeans and Ezidis of Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran, the Copts of Egypt, and others. He learns their histories, participates in their rituals, and comes to understand the threats to their communities. Historically a tolerant faith, Islam has, since the early 20th century, witnessed the rise of militant, extremist sects. This development, along with the rippling effects of Western invasion, now pose existential threats to these minority faiths. And as more and more of their youth flee to the West in search of greater freedoms and job prospects, these religions face the dire possibility of extinction. 

Drawing on his extensive travels and research, Russell provides an essential record of the past, present, and perilous future of these remarkable religions.
  • Review

    'This beautifully written account of the Middle East's unknown and vanishing religions could not be more timely. Just as the world turns its attention to the extremist attacks on Iraq's Yazidis, Gerard Russell tells us who they are. Russell's book based on his travels among the Yazidis, Mandaeans (followers of John the Baptist), Zoroastrians, Samaritans, Copts, and Druze - is the story of people and faiths that have links back to the dawn of civilization. It is travel writing in the tradition of Rebecca West and Robert Kaplan, but possibly better.' Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith, author of The End of Iraq 

    'Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms has the beauty, wisdom, and tragedy of the best elegies. Gerard Russell's book is both timely and necessary, a scholarly and personal observation of religions that are the heritage of all mankind, yet are rapidly disappearing. It is part travelogue and part history of some of the original wellsprings of human culture, both ancient and modern, but also a meditation upon rites and beliefs that are mysterious and fascinating but grievously threatened. Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms is essential reading for everyone who cares about the Middle East, religion, and indeed our common history.' Carne Ross, former diplomat and founder of Independent Diplomat 

    'As the al-Qaeda splinter group, ISIS, storms across Syria and Iraq and attempts to destroy the Yazidi religious sect, now comes Gerard Russell, an erudite, polylingual former British diplomat, who documents the fates of the ancient religions of the Middle East, many of which are on the brink of extinction. Russell writes beautifully and reports deeply, and his account of these disappearing religions will be an enduring anthropology of largely-hidden worlds that may disappear within our own lifetimes.' Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad 

    'An eloquent and sensitive portrayal of the Middle East's lesser known religions, whose existence is severely threatened by the strident nationalisms and proxy wars that are currently tearing apart a region once renowned for its tolerance. Gerard Russell gives a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves, those whose traditions handed down through many centuries are being disregarded and indeed obliterated in a blaze of violence and hatred. He lifts the veil of ignorance and reveals just what is at stake both in the Middle East and around the world. Through extensive and meticulous research, and encompassing years of travel to distant places to meet in person those whose lives have been turned upside down, Mr. Russell's passionate message touches the heart and reminds us of the value and beauty of tolerance.' Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Director, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, Harvard University 

    'It is unbearably poignant that a book so learned and so beautifully written should have been written about the religious minorities of the Middle East just as many of them seem on the verge of extinction. Rarely have I read anything so timely.' --Tom Holland, author of In the Shadow of the Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World 

    'Gerard Russell's beautifully written book provides wonderful insights into the Middle East and the beauty of the different cultures that have flourished there for centuries. It is a welcome respite from the usual portrayal of violence in the region, and at the same time a wake-up call of what will be lost if a perverse form of violent extremism is allowed to prevail. At a time when religion is so often seen as a cause of war, this book shows how lives can be enriched by maintaining rituals and beliefs through generations.' Emma Sky, Senior 

    'Part vivid odyssey, part lucid history.... Gerard Russell's timely and humane depiction of [these cultures] is a compelling read' James Barr, Literary Review 

    'Impressive testimony to the enduring strength of British travel writing' Michael Burleigh, Books of the Year 2014, Evening Standard 

    'A highly topical study of Middle Eastern anomalies which is teaching me a lot, and should be read by all Western policy makers those who do read' Jan Morris, New York Times 

    'The thrust of this wonderfully intriguing book is that virtually all the religions of the Middle East, not just the Abrahamic ones (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) but also a clutch of mysteriously esoteric ones, are marvellously entwined... Wonderfully intriguing... with erudition, sensitivity, humour and aplomb: a remarkable achievement' The Economist 

    'This fascinating survey of threatened and vanishing minority religions across the broader Middle East, written in an even tone sprinkled with wonder as he unearths the esoteric detail of often secretive and syncretic traditions, comes at that piteous moment when sects such as the mysterious Yazidis face extinction from Sunni extremists rampaging across the plains of Nineveh in Iraq. Russell is a former British and UN diplomat, fluent in Arabic and Farsi, who invested invaluable time during his service in the Middle East breaking into an Aladdin's Cave of forgotten faiths that held on tenaciously to their beliefs across millennia. His enthusiasm is infectious' Financial Times 

    'A fascinating survey of the half-forgotten little faiths of the region' The Independent'He has gotten under the skin of many of the region's endangered peoples and what he has found is rather beautiful... Travelling by bus and taxi across the region even as IS irrigated the landscape nearby with blood, Russell's command of Arabic and Farsi (combined with prodigious scholarship) enables him to bring us this valuable compendium of fast vanishing cultures' --Evening Standard

    'He wears his research lightly, combining fairy-tale detail Yazidis sacrifice bulls and revere a peacock rebel angel with warning and elegy' --Intelligent Life

    About the Author

    Gerard Russell is a former United Nations and British diplomat. During his time with the British foreign service, which took him to Cairo, Jerusalem, Baghdad, Jeddah and Kabul, he was described as 'the foremost expert on the Islamic world in his generation.' In 2009 he moved to the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and is now working in a strategic communications consultancy in London. He is fluent in both Arabic and Farsi.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Princess Ukok on display in Altai Rep. (Russia)

2,500 year old tattooed 'ice princess' wears 'fur' to go on public display at next new moon
By The Siberian Times reporter
03 June 2016
Ancient mummy preserved by permafrost dressed up for her debut 21st century appearance despite calls for solemn reburial from native peoples.

The 'ice princess' will be dressed in a stylised cover made to resemble her real life marmot fur coat, discreetly draped over the mummy, who experts says was  an elite member of her ancient culture. Picture: Alexander Tyryshkin
The well-preserved 25 year old woman - who probably died from breast cancer - was dug from her ice-clad tomb in 1993 by Russian archeologists, but this is the first time her remains will be publicly displayed. 
Analysis of her body and the artifacts in her elite tomb brought modern scientists unprecedented knowledge of the ancient Pazyryk culture which once held sway in southern Siberia. 
Among the remarkable discoveries were 'modern-looking' artistic tattoos on her skin. 
Her body art - seen in our pictures - has won acclaim around the world, and will be visible on her shoulders and fingers despite a decision to cover her modesty in a 'fur coat-style blanket'. 
The move to display the mummy in the Anokhin National Museum in Gorno-Altaisk is seen as controversial, even though the remains in a specially built sarcophagus will be viewed only twice a week for a maximum of three hours on each day to ensure she is not damaged. Earlier museum officials appeared to give assurances she would not be displayed. 
Ukok mummy exhibited

Ukok mummy exhibited

Ukok mummy exhibited
Leading researcher of the All-Russian Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Moscow), Dr Yuri Abramov, said: told: 'We made sure of the absolute safety of the mummy.' Pictures: Alexander Tyryshkin
The 'ice princess' will be dressed in a stylised cover made to resemble her real life marmot fur coat, discreetly draped over the mummy, who experts says was  an elite member of her ancient culture.
The Moscow institute which preserves the remains of Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Lenin - who died in 1924 - is ensuring the remains stay in a good condition.
Rimma Erkinova, museum director, said lunar considerations would determine when the mummy - known as Princess Ukok after the plateau where archeologists opened her burial chamber - goes on display for the first time. 'The Altai people try to do all great things at the time of the new moon,' she explained. 
Despite this, native ethnic groups in the Altai Republic have demanded that the tattooed remains should be reburied at the site where they were dug up, warning that a failure to do so will inflict terrible natural disasters on the world. 
Detailed scientific analysis has shown that the 'princess' - who lived five centuries before Christ - almost certainly died from breast cancer, and that her illness may have caused a fall, probably from a horse, which compounded her health problems. She is believed to have taken cannabis to ease her suffering.
Tattoed 2,500 year old Siberian princess 'to be reburied to stop her posthumous anger which causes floods and earthquakes'

Tattoed 2,500 year old Siberian princess 'to be reburied to stop her posthumous anger which causes floods and earthquakes'

Tattoed 2,500 year old Siberian princess 'to be reburied to stop her posthumous anger which causes floods and earthquakes'
The mummy is getting inside a sarcophagus of Anokhin museum, Gorno-Altaisk, under a watchful eye of Irina Salnikova, head of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences Museum of Archeology and Ethnography. Pictures: Alexander Tyryshkin
Buried around her were six horses, saddled and bridled as her spiritual escorts to the next world, along with a meal of sheep and horse meat.
Archaeologists also found ornaments made from felt, wood, bronze and gold as well as a small container of cannabis and a stone plate on which coriander seeds were burned.
From her clothes and possessions including a 'cosmetics bag', scientists were able to recreate her fashion and beauty secrets. Her head was completely shaved, and she wore a horse hair wig on top of which was a carving of a wooden deer. The ancient woman's face and neck skin was not preserved, but the skin of her left arm survived.
The most exciting discovery was her elaborate body art, which many observers said bore striking similarities to modern-day tattoos.
On her left shoulder was a fantastical mythological animal made up of a deer with a griffon's beak and a Capricorn's antlers. The antlers themselves were decorated with the heads of griffons. The mouth of a spotted panther with a long tail could also be seen, and she had a deer's head on her wrist.
Princess Ukok

Princess Ukok

princess Ukok

Princess Ukok
Her body art - seen in our pictures - has won acclaim around the world, and will be visible on her shoulders and fingers despite a decision to cover her modesty. The drawings made by Elena Shumakova, Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science 
Leading researcher of the All-Russian Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Moscow), Dr Yuri Abramov, said: told: 'We made sure of the absolute safety of the mummy.'
Earlier, Akai Kine, leader of the Teles ethnic group and president of the Spiritual Centre of the Turks, Kin Altai, went to court in a failed attempt to demand reburial of the mummy. Her removal from her burial chamber flouted ancient and local beliefs, he said.
'The dead cannot be disturbed, and especially they cannot be held on public display and carried around the world. After she was dug out, we immediately saw earthquakes, floods, and hail which were not known previously.'
He described her as the White Lady, a priestess guarding 'the umbilical cord of the Earth'. 'She stood as a guard at the gates of the underworld, preventing the penetration of evil from the lower worlds. 
'However, after archaeologists removed the mummy, it has lost its strength and can no longer perform its protective function. So evil started to penetrate, natural disasters and human conflicts began.'
Princess Ukok

Ukok 'Princess'
Reconstruction of Pazyryk woman's costume. Right, Pazyryk man's costume. Reconstruction by D. Pozdnyakov, Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science. 
Collection keeper Sergey Kireev said Moscow scientists had given approval to display the mummy and also the use of the 'fur' cover. Earlier this year he was quoted saying: 'The mummy will be safely kept in our museum, without going to public display.' 
The mummy's lavish grave suggests she was someone of singular importance. 
An MRI, conducted in Novosibirsk by eminent academics Andrey Letyagin and Andrey Savelov, showed  that the 'princess' suffered from osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone or bone marrow, from childhood or adolescence.
Close to the end of her life, she was afflicted, too, by injuries consistent with a fall from a horse: but the experts also discovered evidence of breast cancer.
'When she was a little over 20 years old, she became ill with another serious disease - breast cancer.  It painfully destroyed her' over perhaps five years, said a summary of the medical findings in 'Science First Hand' journal by archeologist Professor Natalia Polosmak, who first found these remarkable human remains in 1993. 
Ukok mummy in MRI scanner

Altai mummy MRI scan
Eminent academics Andrey Letyagin: 'I am quite sure of the diagnosis - she had cancer.' Pictures: 'Science First Hand', The Siberian Times
'During the imaging of mammary glands, we paid attention to their asymmetric structure and the varying asymmetry of the MR signal,' stated Dr Letyagin in his analysis. 'We are dealing with a primary tumour in the right breast and  right axial lymph nodes with metastases.'
'The three first thoracic vertebrae showed a statistically significant decrease in MR signal and distortion of the contours, which may indicate the metastatic cancer process.'
He concluded: 'I am quite sure of the diagnosis - she had cancer. 
'She was extremely emaciated. Given her rather high rank in society and the information scientists obtained studying mummies of elite Pazyryks, I do not have any other explanation of her state. Only cancer could have such an impact.'