Archaeologists found a woman’s grave in the ancient city of Aksum that they claim to be “Sleeping Beauty,” The Guardian reports.
A former British Museum curator, Louise Schofield, explored the city by digging out the land for six weeks with her team and found 11 graves with artifacts that dated from the first and second centuries.
But one grave in particular interested Schofield – one with a woman who was buried in a way that suggests she was very beautiful and loved.
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“She was curled up on her side, with her chin resting on her hand, wearing a beautiful bronze ring. She was buried gazing into an extraordinary Roman bronze mirror. She had next to her a beautiful and incredibly ornate bronze cosmetics spoon with a lump of kohl eyeliner,” Schofield told The Guardian.
The woman wore a necklace with a thousand tiny beads and a beaded belt, which tells Schofield she had a high status and lived in luxury. There were also two preserved drinking beakers and a flask presumed to “catch the tears of the dead,” according to The Guardian.
Aksum was the capital of the Aksumite kingdom and a powerful trading spot that connected the Roman Empire and India. But no one knows much about this “lost” civilization located in northern Ethiopia.
“Ethiopia is a mysterious place steeped in legend, but nobody knows very much about it,” Schofield said to The Guardian. “We know from the later Aksumite period … that they were trading very intensely with Rome. But our finds are from much earlier. So it shows that extraordinarily precious things were traveling from the Roman Empire through this region centuries before.”
All of Schofield’s found artifacts will be placed in a museum funded by Germany in October.
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