Unusual discovery for a team ofarchaeologists from the Bavarian State Office for Monument Protection in Endsee, Germany: a woman who died in Middle Ages was buried with a metal folding chair. The death of this individual dates back to nearly four hundred years ago, at the age of forty or fifty, specifies SciencePostFriday, September 16.
The chair is made of an iron frame and measures approximately 70 cm high by 45 cm wide when folded. Only the metal part has survived, but it is possible that it was constructed with other materials, such as wood or leather.
A woman of high social status
For now, the identity of the woman remains a mystery, however this one “had a high social status, as evidenced by other grave goods found at the site of burial“, indicated Hubert Fehr, the head of the excavations. The skeleton indeed wore a necklace, made up of small multicolored glass beads, and a belt with several brooches. The researchers also identified a large glass bead with a millefiori pattern (different fused glass colors), which allowed them to estimate the date of burial.
A very rare and symbolic object
Very rare, there are only about twenty chair burials in Europe, six of which are made of iron. All dating from the Middle Ages, these objects are considered by researchers as “special gifts“. According to Hubert Fehr, the folding chair indeed had “a very specific symbolic meaning during antiquity and was used as an insignia or sign of power for bishops, priests, officers and other persons of high social rank, who were often male in patriarchal Germany“.
“Surprisingly, most of the chair burials that have been found are related to female graves, which shows that women were also related to this general language of symbols related to signs of power“, he explained.
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