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Princess of Zweeloo

To be honest, a Princess of Zweeloo probably never existed. Archaeologists gave this nickname to the woman  whose grave was discovered half a century ago in a field near Zweeloo. Apart from a vague silhouette of a body, dozens of pieces of jewellery and the remains of her clothing were also found.

The grave on the Hooge Esch

The grave of the Princess was discovered in 1952 on the Hooge Esch opposite the twelfth-century church of Zweeloo. In the still unexcavated part of the field the  archaeologists found more than a hundred  graves from the beginning of the Middle  Ages, the period from 400 to 850 AD. So the  burial field was in use even before Christianity and therefore before the first church was built in Zweeloo.

Rich woman

On the edge of the field there is an information board with a lengthy explanation about the Princess of Zweeloo. She must have lived around 450 AD. We do not know how old she was. But we do know that she must have been between 1.65 and 1.70 metres tall. Thanks to the textile  fragments which were found with her, it was possible to make a reconstruction of her clothing. She wore a linen gown with a woollen cloak or shawl over it. The cloak was fastened with decorative pins. The woman wore a string of 130 small glass beads and  another of 100 amber beads. She was  buried with grave goods including a silver ring, an amulet made of beaver tooth, silver toilet articles, a bronze pin in the shape of a butterfly, thirty large glass beads, a bronze armband and two bronze keys. Is it any wonder that she was called the Princess of Zweeloo?

Location of the burial site of the Princess of Zweeloo

Coördinates: 52°47’37.7″N 6°44’30.0″E


  • De Wheem 10
  • 7851 TA Zweeloo
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Princess of Zweeloo