The ancient Xiongnu-era fashionista is nicknamed Natasha by archeologists and her tomb was found during a short summer draining of a vast manmade reservoir in Siberia. In fact, the mobile lookalike is made of black gemstone jet – a type of lignite – with inlays of semi-precious stones. Archaeologist Dr Pavel Leus said: “‘Natasha’s’ burial with a Hunnu-era (Xiongnu) iPhone remains one of the most interesting at this burial site.”
In inlays are turquoise, carnelian, and mother-of-pearl.
The find is from the Ala-Tey necropolis in the so-called Sayan Sea, a giant reservoir upstream of the Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam, Russia’s biggest power plant, in the mountainous Russian republic of Tuva, a favourite vacation spot for Vladimir Putin.
In fact, the ancient woman who lived before the birth of Christ wore the phone-lookalike as a belt buckle.
“Hers was the only belt decorated with Chinese wuzhu coins which helped us to date it,” said the academic.
In size it is large for an iPhone – seven by three and a half inches.
The treasure was discovered in the normally submerged ‘Atlantis necropolis’ during summer months when it temporarily drains of water.
The ancient burial plot is usually up to 56ft underwater.
Graves of prehistoric civilisations dating from the Bronze Age to the time of Genghis Khan are located here.
This is latest exciting find from the site.
Earlier two partly-mummified prehistoric fashionistas – buried with the tools of their trade – were unearthed.
One called ‘Sleeping Beauty’ – dressed in silk for the afterlife – was at first believed to be a priestess.
Now she is thought to have been a leather designer.
The second was a weaver laid to rest with her wooden spindle packed inside a sewing bag.
The reservoir covers 240 square miles but in summer the water level falls almost 60ft giving its floor the appearance of a desert.
A total of 110 burials appeared on an island in the reservoir at Ala-Tey site.
“This site is a scientific sensation”, said Dr Marina Kilunovskaya from the St Petersburg Institute of Material History Culture, who leads the Tuva Archeological Expedition.
“We are incredibly lucky to have found these burials of rich Hun nomads that were not disturbed by (ancient) grave robbers.”
Another Atlantis site called Terezin has at least 32 graves and is closer to the shore.
Scientists admit they are in a race against time to examine the sites and save priceless treasures from damage by water.