The intricate patterns of 2,500-year-old tattoos - some from the body of a Siberian 'princess' preserved in the permafrost - have been revealed in Russia.
The remarkable body art includes mythological creatures and experts say the elaborate drawings were a sign of age and status for the ancient nomadic Pazyryk people, described in the 5th century BC by the Greek historian Herodotus.
But scientist Natalia Polosmak - who discovered the remains of ice-clad 'Princess Ukok' high in the Altai Mountains - is also struck about how little has changed in more than two millennia.
© Siberian Times
Researchers have revealed the stunning tattoo of a Russian princess, which have been preserved for 2,500 years
'I think we have not moved far from Pazyryks in how the tattoos are made,' she told the Siberian Times
'It is still about a craving to make yourself as beautiful as possible.'
'For example, about the British.
'A lot of them go on holiday to Greece, and when I've been there I heard how Greeks were smiling and saying that a British man's age can be easily understood by the number of tattoos on his body.
'I'm talking the working class now.
'And I noticed it, too.
'The older a person, the more tattoos are on his body.'
Dr Polosmak added: 'We can say that most likely there was - and is - one place on the body for everyone to start putting the tattoos on, and it was a left shoulder.
'I can assume so because all the mummies we found with just one tattoo had it on their left shoulders.
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