Skeletal remains found last month in an untouched Etruscan tomb likely belonged to an aristocratic woman (not a prince, as earlier reported) buried alongside a spear and her sewing needles.
Analysis revealed that a small bronze box found beside the skeleton in Tarquinia contain the needles -- and some thread.
"X-rays showed the perfectly sealed box contains at least five needles, some threads remains and perhaps a sewing reel," Alfonsina Russo, Superintendent archaeologist for Southern Etruria, told Discovery News.
The precious box was found at the feet of the skeleton, along with a large bronze basin and a smaller dish.
According to University of Turin Alessandro Mandolesi, director of the excavation, it was produced by recycling parts of an older artifact, possibly an 8th-7th-century BC shield. It was probably passed down generations until it reached the noble woman.
"This object and its contents identifies the woman as an embroiderer. It is well known the Etruscans were skilled in textile activities. Indeed, several tombs in Tarquinia feature frescoes depicting finely embroidered draperies," Russo added.