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Last Updated: Wednesday May 31 2006 10:45 GMT

Roman skeleton 'older than city'

Skull of the woman
An ancient skeleton has been unearthed in Rome, Italy, and at 3,000 years old, it's older than the city itself.

The well-preserved remains of the woman were found by archaeologists digging in the Roman Forum, the main square of the ancient Italian city.

It's traditionally thought that Rome was founded in 753 BC.

Experts know Bronze age settlers lived on the site before the city arose, but until now very few traces of their society have been found.

This skeleton is thought to have been a wealthy woman in her thirties.

She was wearing an amber necklace with a gold pendant, a bronze hair-fastener and a bronze ring on one of her fingers.

The archaeologists also found four bronze clasps, two of which may have been used to hold her shroud in place.

Most of the Romans' ancestors burnt their dead, so finding this complete skeleton buried in the ground is very unusual.



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