New research challenges the origin of 'The Egtved girl' | 3/13/2019 | Staff
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Where was home for The Egtved girl? This question is a hot topic in Bronze Age archaeology right now.

First Karin Frei and her research group conducted innovative strontium analysis (a type of analysis) from which they argued that she most probably came from the Black Forest region (in southwest Germany). This was a groundbreaking discovery, as she was presumed to be of Danish origin until then.

Strontium - Analysis - Danish - Soils - Erik

However, based on geological strontium analysis of Danish soils, Erik Thomsen and Rasmus Andreasen recently returned her to her Danish origin as they argued she grew up in the same area where she was found (near Egtved Village, west of Vejle).

Both research groups based their ideas on geology and strontium isotope results, a method that uses strontium isotopes, present in tooth enamel and hair, to identify where an individual was born and/or lived.

Research - Groups

In the following, I will argue that neither of the two research groups are right.

My research looked at the strontium isotope results and the archaeological material together and revealed that she was probably Scandinavian, although not from Jutland.

Objects - Grave - Island - Bornholm - Sweden

Instead, I show based on the objects she had with her in the grave, that she was probably from the island Bornholm, from south-eastern Sweden or from Rogaland, in southwestern Norway.

Now how can I argue for 3 different locations? The objects she had with her in the grave are not specific to pinpoint one location but they show us these three possible areas that works with the strontium isotope results as well.

Egtved - Girl - Woman - Bronze - Age

"The Egtved girl," who should really be seen as a woman in Bronze Age terms, was between 16 to 18 years old.

In the Bronze Age the average life expectancy was only about 30 years. European studies of Bronze Age graves reveal that females were treated as adults around age 14. The same research show that...
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