The oldest grave of the Netherlands, “Trijntje”
Period: 5500 years before Christ, the Middle Stone Age, the Mesolithic
Trijntje as she was found (foto: PAB).
Reconstruction of Trijntje as she was laid out at her burial.
At the exhibition (photo E. Wieringa).
Trijntje was a woman of 40 – 60 years old. She was buried 7500 years ago, making hers the oldest known burial site in the Netherlands. She lived in the Middle Stone Age and belonged to the hunter-gatherers. This facial reconstruction was completed with Trijntje’s body laid out in the same position as it was found during the excavation.
But there are more and more indications from surrounding countries that the people from the period before and simultaneously with Trijntje had dark skin, with dark hair and light-colored eyes. The chance that Trijntje was also dark-colored is high, hence picture 3, the new version of Trijntje, based on the latest scientific insights.
Her skull has been scanned in the University Medical Center Utrecht / Image Sciences Institute. Here dr. K.L. Vincken has processed and adapted the digital skull data.
When this reconstruction was made (at the beginning of this century), science was not yet so advanced that eye, hair and skin color could be determined with DNA research. Now that this is possible, it has turned out that the DNA of this woman is too poorly preserved to get results.
Client: Projectgroup Archaeology Betuweroute.
Exhibition: the museum De Koperen Knop, at Hardinxveld – Giessendam, the area where she used to live.
Links: More about Trijntje
Documentary: De reconstructie van Trijntje (the reconstruction of Trijntje).
Book: De reconstructie van Trijntje (the reconstruction of Trijntje).