In 1934, during work in a park in the German town of Bad Dürrenberg, in modern Sachsen-Anhalt, a grave was found. It continued two bodies - a woman, aged 25 - 30 and a child between 4 - 6 months old, sex unknown. /2
Testing revealed the grave to date from 5500 to 6500 BCE. That is to say, the grave was around 8,500 years old. That places it during the Mesolithic era.
The woman was found in a seated position, the child between her legs. /3
The skeletons were packed in red ochre, signifying that this was the grave of a significant individual. The scattered remnants of a headdress made of bone, teeth and antlers indicates she was most probably a shaman, a mystic. /4
The woman was also buried with spearpoints, needles and an axe - all high-prestige items. There is no doubt that she was revered locally.
As for what killed her, there is evidence of infections, beginning with cavities and spreading to the jaw. /5
Now, here's the really interesting part - when her skeleton was examined, irregularities were found at the base of the skull and vertebrae, that might have had any number of physiological and neurological effects. /6
Today, the remains of the Shamaness of Bad Dürrenverg are on display - very reverently, I may add - in the @MuseumHalle (Museum of Prehistory) in the city of Halle. /10
If you'd like to learn more about the Shaman of Bad Dürrenberg, there's not heaps in English, but here's a great paper. /11 https://www.academia.edu/35915323/The_Burial_of_Bad_D%C3%BCrrenberg_Central_Germany_Osteopathology_and_Osteoarchaeology_of_a_Late_Mesolithic_Shamans_Grave …
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