'Woman in Blue' sheds light on Iceland’s first settlers
|A young woman now determined to have been one of Iceland’s earliest settlers was|
found in 1938 in a grave with various Viking-era objects, including this pair of brooches
[Credit: Ivar Brynjólfsson/The National Museum of Iceland]
“The ‘woman in blue’ was not Icelandic,” Jakob says. “She came from southern Scandinavia or the British Isles.” Between around 700 and 1100, seagoing Vikings from Denmark, Norway and Sweden settled in various countries, including Iceland. That raises the possibility that the “woman in blue” came to Iceland with Vikings.
Radiocarbon dating of the apron, strap and one of the woman’s teeth indicate she was born around 900, the scientists conclude. Evidence of Iceland’s initial settlement dates to between around 871 and 930, Jakob adds.
While the woman lay in her grave, a Scandinavian copper brooch came in contact with her face, helping to preserve skin fibers. Bone and skin remains were unintentionally stained green because they were stored in jars filled with a preservative solution. These finds were recently transferred into jars of light paraffin oil to maintain preservation without further staining. DNA from the “woman in blue” is now being studied.
Author: Bruce Bower | Source: Science News [April 15, 2016]