Just outside of the Medieval church of the Ostrów Lednicki stronghold in Poland, archaeologists have unearthed the strange burial of a giantess. The woman’s skeleton showed that she reached a towering height of 7’2″ but also that her short life was full of traumatic injuries and disease.
The giantess was found in a cemetery that was once used solely by the elite of the area: dignitaries, the very wealthy, and people connected with Bolesław the Brave, the king of Poland in the early 11th century, and with the local Piast ruling dynasty. By the late 12th century, though, the cemetery saw more and more burials of commoners, with over 2,500 skeletons recovered at the site of Ostrów Lednicki Island.
But in spite of the elite nature of the cemetery, its most famous resident is a woman from a lower social class who died in her late 20s. Writing recently in the book New Developments in the Bioarchaeology of Care, archaeologists Magdalena Matczak and Tomasz Kozłowski detail the intriguing skeleton and the odd nature of the grave.
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