The Egtved Girl was discovered in 1921 outside the Egtved village, Denmark. Her burial dates to 1370 BC. She was excavated around 3500 years after her burial.
The Egtved girl was buried with clothing made from cowhide and was wrapped with a blanket and placed within an oak coffin. Several items were placed on top of the coffin, such items included blooming yarrow. The blooming yarrow indicated that the buried occurred during summer. A canister of beer that was crafted from honey, wheat, cowberries and dog-myrtle was also placed on top of the coffin before burial.
Egtved Girl has become an important pre historic find, as her discovery and analysis opened a rare glimpse into the lives of Bronze Age people. The mummified remains only contain small fragments of hair samples, brain, teeth, nails and skin.
Upon examination specialists discovered a high concentration of the chemical isotope strontium within the her teeth, fingernails and tissues. With this discovery scientists were able to speculate the origin of the Egtved Girl as the concentration of strontium differs with region. It is now believed by some that Egtved Girl originated in the Black Forest region of Germany. However, based on geological strontium analysis of Danish soils, Erik Thomsen and Rasmus Andreasen recently claimed Danish origin; they argued she grew up in the same area where she was found. While based on the objects she had with her in the grave, another claim is an origin from the island of Bornholm, from south-eastern Sweden or from Rogaland, in southwestern Norway.
Along with her remains several artifacts were exhumed from the coffin, a bracket and necklace discovered among the remains signifies that the Egtved Girl was of high social status. She also had a belt plate on her stomach that is believed to have been a symbol for the sun, this would correspond with a common belief system from Bronze Age religions that regarded the sun as a important element.
Using molecular research scientists were able to determine that the Egtved Girl is not of Danish origin. They were also able to determine that she died shorty after arriving in Egtved, approximately six months. The exact cause of death is unknown, however, scientists and anthropologists proposed many theories including that the nature of her new environment and travels opened her to disease.
She wore a short tunic and a knee-length skirt made of cords. A belt plate of bronze decorated with spirals lay on her stomach. She also had a comb made of horn with her in the grave, attached to her belt. Around each arm was a ring of bronze and she had a slender ring in her ear. By her face lay a small box of bark with a bronze awl and the remains of a hair net. At the feet of the Egtved Girl a small bucket of bark had been placed, which once contained a type of beer. There was also a small bundle of clothing with the cremated bones of a 5-6-year-old child. A few bones from the same child were found in the bark box. Research suggests the two individuals may not have been related.
Leafloor, L. (2015, May 22). The Surprising and Iconic Bronze Age Egtved Girl: Teenage Remains Tell a Story of Trade and Travel. Retrieved January 12, 2017, from http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/surprising-and-iconic-bronze-age-egtved-girl-teenage-remains-tell-story-020358
Keim, B. (2015, May 21). Bronze Age Woman Had Surprisingly Modern Life. Retrieved January 12, 2017, from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150521-bronze-age-woman-egtved-modern-archaeology/
Egtved Girl. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egtved_Girl
The Egtved Girl. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2017, from The Egtved Girl. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2017, from http://en.natmus.dk/historical-knowledge/denmark/prehistoric-period-until-1050-ad/the-bronze-age/the-egtved-girl/