Bronze Age Princess

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.

Bronze Age beads from Dartmoor.
Bronze Age beads from Dartmoor.

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.

Bronze age bracelet, tin beads and woven cow hair.
Bronze age bracelet, tin beads, and woven cow hair.

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.

Basket found with Bronze Aged Dartmoor woman
Basket found with Bronze Aged Dartmoor woman

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:

Bronze Age burial site excavated on Dartmoor — BBC News Devon

Prehistoric burial chamber on Dartmoor excavated — BBC News Devon

Bronze age relics found on Dartmoor — The Guardian

Prehistoric Dartmoor burial reveals nationally important remains — Dartmoor National Park Authority

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