Brown bear bones found in Zeeland

Brown bear (Photo: Malene Thyssen/Wikimedia, 26.05.2007). (Brown bear (Photo: Malene Thyssen/Wikimedia Commons, 26.05.2007))

Members of volunteer archaeological organization AWN found bones of a brown bear in a dune valley near Schouwen. Both AWN and the Forestry Commission of northern Zeeland called the discovery "spectacular."

The archaeologists discovered the bones in a layer of peat. The Forestry Commission says that main question is how the bones got there. It is possible that then animals lived in the forest and were hunted down, the authority suggested.

The bones belong to a young specimen. The archaeologists are yet to determine the exact age of the remains.

The only bear remains previously found in Zeeland were a pierced bear tooth. The tooth was found in 1940 by an antiquarian on the beach of Schouwen.

Bears lived in the lowlands before the Middle Ages. Excavations in the Netherlands and Flanders have led to the discovery of 25 sites of bear bones.