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23 August 2010
4,000-year-old skeleton to be re-interred in Scotland

A 4,000-year-old skeleton, known as the Queen of the Inch, is to be re-interred in the tiny island of Inchmarnock, at the northern end of the Sound of Bute on the west coast of Scotland.
     The grave was found by a farmer in the 1950s as he ploughed a field- Preserved in an ancient cist, the remains included a necklace and dagger. Despite being examined by archaeologists and reburied in the 1960s, the skeleton was recently exhumed again and studied using modern research techniques. Scientists have since been able to determine that the woman lived on Inchmarnock and came from the Clyde Estuary and that she did not eat seafood, despite the fact she lived on an island.
     "She must have been a queen or chieftain or something very important in her own right. There were plenty of people who lived on the island but very very few were given cist burials and with something as spectacular as the necklace, which obviously she was allowed to keep. It was buried with her. It didn't pass on to anyone else," Anne Spiers, curator of archaeology at Bute Museum, said.
     The reconstruction of the queen's head and the necklace, which was found to be made of Whitby jet, are now on show at Bute Museum. The current owner of Inchmarnock Island, Lord Smith of Kelvin, said it was now time for the remains to be reburied. He said: "It right that she goes back. When you speak with the researchers and scientists, obviously they wanted her for a period of time. But I was always clear that once they had actually looked at her properly, because we all need to understand what her forebears were like and what they did and so on, she had to go back."

Source: BBC News (18 Agust 2010)

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