A Bronze Age find in Dartmoor revealed a window into what a princess might have worn at that time. After studying the artifacts, archaeologists have concluded that the jewelry and fur belonged to a woman of high status. The remains themselves were cremated but carefully wrapped in a fur pelt, bound with a woven sash.
The yo-yo shaped studs are made from wood, from a local source. Called “spindle wood,” it is often used for making knitting needles. Perhaps worn as ear studs, they are evidence of early woodturning. Over 200 beads were found in and around the nearly intact basket. Some of these were amber, which indicated trade from as far away as the Baltic.
This bracelet found at the site was exciting to scientists because it is the earliest known use of tin as a decoration in that area. To a fiber artist, the intricate weaving is just as exciting. Made with woven cow hair, it is delicate and extraordinary.
The basket which contained the beads and wooden studs also contained a piece of flint.
The flint is another indication of trade, and also points to the continued use of stone tools into the Bronze Age. The basket itself is beautifully constructed, with tightly coiled basketry.
For a link to the Daily Mail article about this find, click here.
For more information about this find:
If you are interested in historical textiles and archaeology, check out books by Elizabeth Wayland Barber:
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