Queen of the Inch to be re-interred

Queen of the Inch head A reconstruction of the queen's head and the necklace are on show in Bute

A 4,000-year-old skeleton, known as the Queen of the Inch, is to be re-interred in the tiny island of Inchmarnock in the Firth of Clyde.

The grave was found by a farmer in the 1950s as he ploughed a field.

Preserved in an ancient cist, the remains included a necklace and dagger.

Despite being examined by archaeologists and reburied in the 1960s, the skeleton was recently exhumed and studied using modern research techniques.

Scientists have since been able to determine that the woman lived on Inchmarnock and came from the Clyde Estuary and that she did not eat seafood, despite the fact she lived on an island.

'Spectacular necklace'

Anne Spiers, curator of archaeology at Bute Museum, said: "She must have been a queen or chieftain or something very important in her own right.

"There were plenty of people who lived on the island but very very few were given cist burials and with something as spectacular as the necklace, which obviously she was allowed to keep. It was buried with her. It didn't pass on to anyone else."

Queen of the Inch burial site The bones were discovered by a farmer as he ploughed a field in the 1950s

The reconstruction of the queen's head and the necklace, which was found to be made of Whitby jet, are now on show at Bute Museum.

The current owner of Inchmarnock Island, Lord Smith of Kelvin, said it was now time for the remains to be reburied.

He said: "It right that she goes back. When you speak with the researchers and scientists, obviously they wanted her for a period of time.

"But I was always clear that once they had actually looked at her properly, because we all need to understand what her forebears were like and what they did and so on, she had to go back.

"It's where she belongs and it's where she was buried and that's where she's going back to, to rest for ever."

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