Viking-era woman sheds light on Iceland’s earliest settlers | Science News

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Viking-era woman sheds light on Iceland’s earliest settlers

Diet, artifacts tell tale of short life of the ‘woman in blue’

2:50pm, April 15, 2016
Viking-era brooches

EARLY ICELANDER  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.

ATLANTA — Iceland’s “woman in blue,” the partial skeleton of a young woman found in 1938 in a grave with Viking-era objects, was a child of some of the island’s earliest settlers, researchers reported April 14 at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Tooth development and wear suggest she was between 17 and 25 years old when she died.

It’s not known if the woman was a Viking or if she came from another northern European population, said bioarchaeologist Tina Jakob of Durham University in England. A chemical analysis of one of her teeth indicates that, between ages 5 and 10, she started eating a lot of fish and other seafood for the first time after having previously consumed mainly plants and land animals,

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