The countdown is on for the new archaeology gallery ‘Lives In Our Landscape’ at Maidstone Museum which is due to open in the summer.

One of the highlights of the new gallery will be the skeleton of a woman buried nearly 1,500 years ago. Scientific analysis of her teeth and bones has shown how she might have lived. She worked hard for many years before her death, probably in her mid-forties.

Eastry woman skeleton in new gallery at Maidstone Museum  image

The image is a recreation of how the Eastry woman may have looked as she was working, using her mouth as a support for processing thread Image: Maidstone Museum

She was buried in Eastry, near Sandwich, with both locally made and continental-style accessories which analysis has revealed that she arrived in Kent sometime after the age of 12 but had lived in a colder northern climate on the Continent before that, probably Denmark.

The life of the Eastry woman will be brought to visitors in a film, showing how her bones were examined by an osteoarchaeologist*.  The film will describe the health, lifestyle, diet and physique of the woman and shed light on genetic relationships and movement of people.  Techniques used by human osteoarchaeologists range from visual examination, through measurement of bones and teeth, to chemical and physical analyses.

The exciting new family-friendly gallery will tell the story of how people have lived in the area over a vast span of time. Objects dating back more than 600,000 years will be on show, from the earliest type of humans hunting animals with stone tools in a forested landscape, up to the medieval period, when Maidstone became a bustling market town.

Maidstone Museum Manager, Natalie Moor said:

“Work is well underway for the new gallery and we are all so looking forward to seeing it open for the public to enjoy. The gallery should transport people through time and allow them to imagine how a person lived thousands of years ago.

“There are still so many unanswered questions about the Eastry woman, did she arrive here with her family to settle into a new life? Was she sent to live with relatives, perhaps to marry? You will be able to find out more once the new gallery opens in June.”

Visitors to the new gallery will be able to interact digitally and physically with the collections, taking part in hands-on activities, handling objects and trying on costumes. An interactive touchscreen map will also allow visitors to explore what has been unearthed in the borough of Maidstone.

For more information on all of the events at Maidstone Museum visit:

Sign up to Maidstone Borough Council e-newsletters ‘Stay Connected’ to receive vital news and updates via email for the many services and events provided by the Council

* Osteoarchaeologist – A person who studies human skeletons excavated from archaeological sites.

By Ed

©2024 Hawkinge Gazette       -       The Hawkinge Gazette is not responsible for the content of external sites