Skull of Iron Age woman found by dog walker

A dog walker in Newtown, Somerset, United Kingdom, discovered a skull on the banks of the River Sowy in March last year. Now, scientists have confirmed it belonged to an Iron Age woman.

The skull from the Iron Age (by Environment Agency)

According to the researchers, the head belonged to a woman aged 45 or older in the late Iron Age, around 380-190 BC. Experts believe the Iron Age woman’s head had been severed, either at or shortly after her death. Analysis  showed the Iron Age woman had suffered considerably from gum disease and tooth loss. Her diet included coarse material, which had unevenly worn her remaining teeth and resulted in severe osteoarthritis in the joint of her right jaw. She had also suffered at least one episode of chronic illness or nutritional stress during childhood. Following the discovery, the Environment Agency (EA) reduced water levels in the area to allow South West Heritage Trust (SWHT) and its own archaeologists to search for more clues. No more human remains were found but the series of round, timber posts driven into the river bed are thought to have been a remnant of a causeway or raised walkway. Radio carbon-dating tests are being carried out to find out their age.

(after BBC News & Environment Agency)

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