Scientists have discovered that the skeleton of a “princess” found in a hollowed-out tree trunk that was thrown off a cliff as part of a lavish burial ceremony lived around 2,000 years ago.
Picture Credits: CEN/Marta Chmiel-Chrzanowska & CEN/O. Dibbelt & CEN/E. Dokudowicz & CEN/A. Fetner
The woman’s remains were found in the coastal area of Bagicz in the north-western Polish region of West Pomeranian Voivodeship by chance at the end of the 19th century, however scientists were unable to analyse the remains at the time.
Along with the woman’s skeleton, experts found bronze jewellery including bracelets, necklaces, a bone pin as well as a wooden stool.
Well-preserved bovine skin and woollen clothing items were also discovered.
Researchers from the Szczecin and Warsaw Universities decided to revisit the old discovery and analyse the woman’s remains with state-of-the-art technology.
According to local media, they were surprised to find that the remains were much older than originally believed.
Using radiocarbon dating techniques, scientists established that the woman died around 30 AD at the latest.
They were even able to find out what the woman’s diet consisted of due to the isotopes in her teeth.
Dr. Rafal Fetner said: “We were unable to find traces of Baltic fish in her diet, but she consumed many animal products, as evidenced by the type of proteins preserved in her teeth.”
Experts also discovered that the woman suffered with joint problems in later life and said that there are signs of osteoarthritis in her lower spine area.
Dr. Fetner said: “Interestingly, this is a condition that most often affects elderly people.”
However, he estimates that the woman was only between 20 to 35 years old at the time of her death.
He added: “Meanwhile, the burial is described as belonging to a princess – because of its rich furnishings.”
Scientists have confirmed that they will continue to analyse the woman’s skeleton.