The Iron Age woman buried in tree trunk coffin

Related Articles

Related Articles

In 2017, archaeologists discovered the grave of an Iron Age woman during construction works at a local school in the City of Zurich, Switzerland.

A detailed study has now revealed that the woman dates from around 250/200 BC and was buried in a hollowed-out “tree trunk coffin”.  The analysis was carried out by the city’s archaeology department and shows that she was around 40 years old when she died.

Her grave is located 80 meters away from the discovery of another burial in 1903, where an Iron Age man along with his sword, shield and a lance were unearthed.


In a press release issued by Stadt Zurich, they state that when the woman was originally found, an isotope analysis of the woman’s bones revealed that she had “been brought up in Zurich, likely in Limmat Valley.”

Archaeologists also uncovered an array of ornate items and grave goods, including a delicate bronze belt chain, pendants, bronze bracelets and a rich chest ornament made with pearls of amber and blue and yellow glass.

The area is known for being rich in archaeology, but burials normally date the early Middle Ages around the 6th century AD, making the woman’s burial a valuable insight into life and burial practices during the late Iron Age of the region.

Header Image – Artist’s impression of the woman in her coffin. Credit : University of Zurich – Archaeology Department

Download the HeritageDaily mobile application on iOS and Android

More on this topic


Some Dinosaurs Could Fly Before They Were Birds

New research using the most comprehensive study of feathered dinosaurs and early birds has revised the evolutionary relationships of dinosaurs at the origin of birds.

Searching the Ancient Depths of a Reptilian Genome Yields Insight into all Vertebrates

Scientists searching the most ancient corners of the genome of a reptile native to New Zealand found patterns that help explain how the genomes of all vertebrates took shape, according to a recently published study.

Researchers Unlock Secrets of the Past With New International Carbon Dating Standard

Radiocarbon dating is set to become more accurate than ever after an international team of scientists improved the technique for assessing the age of historical objects.

New Findings Dispel the View That Australia’s First Peoples Were ‘Only Hunter Gatherers’

Archaeologists at The Australian National University (ANU) have found the earliest evidence of Indigenous communities cultivating bananas in Australia.

Bones Recently Found on the Isle of Wight Belong to a New Species of Theropod Dinosaur

A new study by Palaeontologists at the University of Southampton suggests four bones recently found on the Isle of Wight belong to new species of theropod dinosaur, the group that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and modern-day birds.

Cremation in the Middle-East Dates as Far Back as 7,000 B.C.

The gender of the human remains found inside a cremation pyre pit in Beisamoun, Israel remains unknown. What is known is that the individual was a young adult injured by a flint projectile several months prior to their death in spring some 9,000 years ago.

Academics Develop New Method to Determine the Origin of Stardust in Meteorites

Meteorites are critical to understanding the beginning of our solar system and how it has evolved over time.

Primate Voice Boxes are Evolving at a Rapid Pace

Scientists have discovered that the larynx, or voice box, of primates is significantly larger relative to body size, has greater variation, and is under faster rates of evolution than in other mammals.

Popular stories

Port Royal – The Sodom of the New World

Port Royal, originally named Cagway was an English harbour town and base of operations for buccaneers and privateers (pirates) until the great earthquake of 1692.

Matthew Hopkins – The Real Witch-Hunter

Matthew Hopkins was an infamous witch-hunter during the 17th century, who published “The Discovery of Witches” in 1647, and whose witch-hunting methods were applied during the notorious Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts.

Did Corn Fuel Cahokia’s Rise?

A new study suggests that corn was the staple subsistence crop that allowed the pre-Columbian city of Cahokia to rise to prominence and flourish for nearly 300 years.

The Real Dracula?

“Dracula”, published in 1897 by the Irish Author Bram Stoker, introduced audiences to the infamous Count and his dark world of sired vampiric minions.