The remains of an ancient female warrior still clasping a huge sword and dagger have been discovered in South Kazakhstan.
Dubbed Red Sonja after the fearsome warrior woman portrayed by Brigitte Nielsen in the hit 1980s film, the skeleton was found with an impressive arsenal of weapons.
The remains, which are perfectly preserved, are thought to be thousands of years old and could date back as early as 200BC.
It is thought that the woman led a group of nomads who lived somewhere in the area of modern Kazakhstan.
Experts believe she would have wielded significant influence among the Kangyuy people – a nomadic nation of warriors famous for their opposition to the invading Huns.
The find is one of the most notable ever made after 23 years of research in the area and proves for the first time that women were among the 90,000 warriors in the fierce ancient nation.
Researchers found the body had been buried with a small knife, in the right hand and a sword in her left – indicating that the person was a renowned warrior.
But they were surprised when they carried out careful analysis of the bones to discover the warrior was female.
The items will be soon be exhibited in the National Museum of Kazakhstan while scientists continue their work in the region.
The woman has been dubbed Red Sonja after the She-Devil with a Sword who first appeared in Marvel’s Conan comics as a sword-wielding barbarian.
The series was made into a cult film in the 1980s, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielsen as Red Sonja – a woman hellbent on revenge after an evil queen destroyed her family.
Red Sonja has since become the archetypal fantasy figure of a fierce and beautiful female warrior.