Dubbed by some as 'Red Sonja,' the remains of a woman were found in Kazakhstan have drawn comparisons to a character played by actress Birgitte Nielsen, who starred in self-named 1984 movie along with the equally outsized Arnold Schwarzneggar. In the burial found in the Central Asian republic, archeologists also found a huge sword and dagger, still clasped by the bony hands of the warrior woman. That the two weapons were found in the skeletal hands has led researchers to theorize that the woman was buried with military honors.
The remains are believed to date as far back as 200 B.C. in what was then the ancient state of Kangyuy. She is believed to be the first warrior woman discovered in modern Kazakhstan. The Kangyuy people were a nomadic and war-fighting nation who became renowned for fighting off the equally fearsome Huns. There were some 90,000 warriors among the Kangyuy nation. Until now, archeologists had not found any evidence of warrior women of Kangyuy nation despite 23 years of research and excavations.
With 'Red Sonja' were also found a number of equally ancient arrows and pottery, attesting to her wealth and status. Careful analysis revealed the skeleton's sex to the researchers. She will soon be exhibited in the National Museum of Kazakhstan while scientists continue their work.
Arrowheads found among the bones.
Video from excavation site in Kazakhstan (in Russian)
In the 'Red Sonja' film, Sonja was also called the She-Devil with a Sword. The character first appeared in Marvel's comics in its series on Conan the Barbarian. In the comics and the film, Red Sonja is bent on terrific revenge for the slaying of her family by an evil queen. She has since become the prototype of vengeful, beautiful barbarian warrior women.