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4,500-year-old remains of high-status woman unearthed in Windsor

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The remains of a woman buried 4,500 years ago in Windsor, England, have been unearthed. Her golden jewellery suggests she may have held some sort of elite status.

She has been dubbed “Kingsmead’s queen” after the quarry near Windsor where she was found, but experts from Wessex archaeology have more properly called her “a woman of importance”. She clearly had considerable wealth and status in her community. The fragmentary bones, almost destroyed in the acid soil, suggest she was at least 35, and as well as the necklace of tubular sheet gold beads interspersed with black disks of lignite, she had several pierced amber beads, which may have been buttons for a jacket, and more black beads that may have been a bracelet.

She had a finely decorated cup placed by her hip – indicating she was one of the so-called Beaker Folk, new arrivals in Britain from the continent who brought with them advanced metal-working skills in copper and gold. They were commonly buried with an array of possessions including pottery cups.

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Story: Maev Kennedy, The Guardian | Photo: Wessex Archaeology

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