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Shamanism is still strong in the Altai mountains and one local leader said the mummy's "spirit" had to be appeased.Aulkhan Jatkambayev said tremors had been happening at the rate of two or three times a week, sometimes measuring up to four on the Richter scale.They want a 2,500-year-old mummy, found by Russian archaeologists 11 years ago and being studied in the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk, to be reinterred without delay.Egged on by powerful shamans who local people believe act as go-betweens with the heavenly spirits, they say only the mummy's reburial will put an end to a rash of earthquakes and other problems assailing the region. When her ornately tattooed body was found entombed in ice in an ancient burial chamber, the find was acclaimed as one of the most important in Russia's recent history.The "Ice Maiden' and her artifacts have not been returned, a ban has been put in place specifically excluding Russian archaeologists from the excavated gravesites on the Ukok Plateau.People in a remote part of Russia have blamed a spate of earth tremors on the excavation of a 2,500-year-old mummy known as the Princess of Altai.Mummy specialists from Moscow - who were more used to embalming the body of Soviet revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin - were brought in to restore the Princess.
She was a prized find for archaeologists in Russia and across the world, when she was excavated in 1993 along with six saddled and bridled horses from the frozen earth of Altai's Ukok plateau.
Found on the borders of China and Mongolia, she was initially thought to have been of Scythian extraction.
Archaeologists in Novosibirsk say they are willing to return the mummy to an Altai museum eventually, but only if suitable conditions are provided there for conserving the body.
"Everybody can come and bow before her," said Rima Yerkinova.
High in the Altai mountains of southern Siberia, where Shamans still practise their ancient rites and most people are descended from Asiatic nomads, there is a whiff of revolt in the air.
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The 'Ice Maiden's', well-preserved body, was carefully embalmed using peat and bark, it is believe she was arranged in the coffin to lie on her side as if asleep, it is possible she may have died in this position and rigor mortis may have already occued. This has caused considerable conflict of a racial nature.