The silver diadem and other bling interred with a woman some 3,700 years ago mark her high status.
She was buried some 3,700 years ago, inside a large clay jar. But archaeologists say that the bracelets on her wrist, the heavy silver diadem still clinging to her temple and the trove of expensive silver ornaments at her side mark the mysterious woman as a powerful figure — and perhaps even a young queen.
Roberto Risch at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain and his colleagues found the woman’s grave at the La Almoloya archaeological site in southeastern Spain. The tomb sits below a sprawling compound that the researchers identify as a palace — the oldest known from western Europe’s Early Bronze Age, which lasted from roughly 2200 to 1550 bc.
The woman was buried beside a male partner, but the researchers link most of the 29 objects interred at the site to her. The items include silver headdress ornaments and earlobe plugs, along with objects that signified social status, such as pots with intricate silver plating and daggers with silver-plated handles.
The findings suggest that one of the earliest European civilizations held some women in esteem.