Nearly 4,000 years after her death, a Bronze Age woman is emerging from oblivion in the Czech Republic. A museum located in Brno, the Moravské zemské muzeum, recently revealed a reconstruction of the face of the deceased whose remains were found during excavations conducted between 2007 and 2009.
The burial appeared near the village of Mikolovici in the north of the country. And she wasn’t alone. At least 27 tombs have been discovered at the same site. It housed a large artifact collection that included more than 900 amber items including necklaces and other jewellery.
“We found (and found) amber in 40% of female graves”, confirmed Michal Erne, an archaeologist at the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic who acquired it. Live Science. The woman whose face was reconstructed in Tomb 2 was no exception.
Woman of Únětice . culture
She was buried with five bronze bracelets, two gold earrings, and a three-row necklace with over 400 amber beads. There are a lot of elements that indicate that she was not just a person and probably belonged to a high social level. “This may be the richest female tomb in the entire cultural area of AntitesMichel Ernie endorsed him.
According to the measurements of the dating made, the deceased could have lived between 1880 and 1750 before our era. Although its identity remains unclear, it belongs to the Únětice culture – named after the village of the same name – an early Bronze Age culture known particularly for the metal objects it crafted such as axes, daggers, or jewellery.
A necklace of 400 pearls from Tomb No. 2 is a great example. “It is a unique and unparalleled gem among the discoveries of that time.”, identified by Michel Ernie published by the Moravské zemské muzeum in one of the publications. In addition to the artefacts, the woman was distinguished by a well-preserved skull.
So it was an excellent model for possible facial reconstruction. It was anthropologist Eva Vani Shkova and sculptor und Shee Bilic of the Laboratory of Anthropological Reconstruction at the Czech Museum who undertook this task in collaboration with Michal Erne.
The skull was clearly the focus of the work, but the team also performed DNA analyzes to learn more about the deceased, who has an estimated age of around 35. “These analyzes […] It allowed us to get a more realistic idea of his appearance”, noted Eva Vanni Shkuva.
Brown hair, dark eyes and light complexion
Thus the final restoration reveals a petite woman with brown hair, dark eyes and light skin. The anthropologist and the sculptor allowed their creations to do the talking to restore his facial expression, likely taking into account his high social standing.
⋙Oscar Nilsson, archaeologist and sculptor who brings faces from the past back to life
“Perhaps she was a respectable and energetic womanEven if, continued Eva Vanni Shkuva.No analysis can determine his true character. It’s a secret this woman will stay foreverTo complete her image, the team brought in other specialists who dressed her and created replicas of the jewelry found in the tomb.
In addition to the many artifacts it contains, the tomb has proven to be very informative for archaeologists. The presence of amber, which originated in the Baltic Sea regions, for example, indicates that the Onites were involved in trade throughout Europe. Likewise, the components needed for some alloys are only found in a few regions.
DNA samples were taken from other skeletons for further analysis. In particular, they will make it possible to determine whether the deceased was related or not. They can also provide clues to shed light on other points such as the whereabouts of these women with exceptionally rich tombs.
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