The Bronze Age Priestess

Archaeologists have found buried in Denmark a Bronze Age woman, dating back to 3400 years ago. She seems to have come from a foreign land, far from Denmark, suggested by the analysis made on her teeth and hair. Unfortunately, all the bones from this woman were missing when the archaeologists found the burial, but her clothing, hair, nails and some teeth were still in excellent condition, which provided scientists with the knowledge of the origins of this woman. (The subject may have spent her early life in southern Germany).

The woman’s final resting place was in a large burial mound made of peat bog. In addition to the remains of this woman, which had approximately 16 to 18 year of age when she died, was also found a oak coffin which bore the cremated remains of a child, who was about 5 or 6 when he/she died.

This Bronze Age woman was wearing a wool skirt belted with a large bronze disk with spirals on it, and she was buried in such garments. This is very relevant because figurines from the Bronze Age show women in similar dresses, with spiral symbols associated with a Scandinavian cult of the sun, archaeologists have concluded that this woman must have been a priestess of that same cult, or had some connections to it.

The study of these findings showed that Bronze Age people were not just trading, but were also traveling long distances. Nordic amber has been found along rivers and beaches in Europe and in the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, blue glass beads from Egypt and Mesopotamia have also been found in Scandinavian graves. For instance, the bronze used to make the girl’s sun-cult belt decoration wasn’t from Denmark, but instead came from the Alps.

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