Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Discovery of Bronze Age Woman

Image from The Scotsman
From Past Horizons:
In March 2012, a GUARD Archaeology team, led by Maureen Kilpatrick, undertook a rescue excavation when a cist was inadvertently disturbed during landscaping works following the construction of an access track through Cullaird Wood in West Torbreck, south-west of Inverness in Scotland.
The cist, which was capped with a small cairn, contained the remains of a crouched inhumation burial, whose grave goods included seven fragments of flint and a plain Beaker vessel. The burial appeared consistent with a period of use in the early Bronze Age, which has recently been confirmed by radiocarbon dating of 1982-1889 cal BC provided by a sample of the human bones.
Maureen Kilpatrick, who is one of GUARD Archaeology’s Osteoarchaeologists, undertook post-excavation analysis of the human bones recovered from the cist and discovered that these were the remains of an adult female individual who had attained the age of 40 – 44 years at death.

From Herald Scotland:
THE remains of a physically active woman with poor dental hygiene, who died 4000 years ago, have been found.
The discovery, along with others, is said by experts to underline the archaeological significance of the area around Inverness, which was important for prehistoric groups from early times.
Two years ago, a team from GUARD Archaeology, which has bases in Glasgow and Edinburgh, was led by Maureen Kilpatrick to undertake a rescue excavation when a cist, or tomb-like box made of stone, was disturbed during landscaping works for an access track through Cullaird Wood.
The cist contained the remains of a crouched burial, whose grave goods included seven fragments of flint and a plain beaker vessel.

From The Scotsman:
A BRONZE Age grave uncovered in the Highlands has revealed the remains of a woman in her forties who was suffering from toothache before she died 4,000 years ago.
Osteoarchaeologist Maureen Kilpatrick analysed the bones and discovered that they belonged to a woman aged between 40 and 44.
She said: “As the radiocarbon date demonstrates, this occurred at some point between 1982BC and 1889BC.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Blanche Mortimer Found

Blanche Mortimer
From Medievalists dot com:
The discovery of a body inside a church memorial has caused amazement in the world of archaeology and surprised experts. Michael Eastham, a conservator of sculpture has been working on the memorial in a Herefordshire Church for nearly two years but was taken aback when a mysterious coffin was discovered jammed inside the tomb-chest.

“We could not work out what it was when we first took the stone panels from the front of the memorial,” said Michael. “We thought it might be a layer of slate but as we explored further we realised it was a lead coffin. It’s the first time in more than thirty years as a Conservator that this has ever happened.”

Originally it was feared the coffin had been hidden during the construction of the tomb in the late 14th century or possibly even added at a later date. It has now been decided that it is almost certainly the coffin and remains of Blanche Mortimer whose memorial it is, wife of Sir Peter Grandison and daughter of Roger Mortimer, the powerful noble who had Edward II murdered and was the de facto ruler of England for three years before being himself overthrown by Edward’s eldest son, Edward III.

Blanche was born around 1316 at Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire, and was the youngest child of Sir Roger Mortimer and Joan de Geneville. She became the wife of Peter de Grandison , but died in 1347. They had one son, Otto.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Discovery of Maiden Crown

From Past Horizons Archaeology:
During excavations in Roskilde Cathedral, Denmark, archaeologists found burials dating between 11th – 17th centuries and included a grave that obviously belonged to a noblewoman. She had been buried with her head resting on a pillow sewn with gold threads and had been wearing a maiden crown.
The crown was found at the head of the grave and had initially been interpreted as a headband. Most of the decoration consists of many small flowers made of twisted copper wire wrapped with silk thread. The metal salts in the copper have ensured the silk thread has been preserved.
Detail of a family painting showing the difference between married (left) and unmarried (centre and right) headgear. Photo: