Attic Skull Sparks Ashtray Theory Skip to content
Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Residence of Minister
Photo: Golli.

Attic Skull Sparks Ashtray Theory

The human skull fragments discovered last week in the Minister’s residence are believed to belong to a female individual, based on size, according to experts, Vísir reports. The possibility that the fragments were historically used as an ashtray is also under consideration.

May have belonged to a “small woman”

Fragments of a human skull were found last week during renovations beneath the attic floor tiles at the Prime Minister’s Residence on Tjarnargata. The fragments were discovered by workers who were in the process of removing the attic’s floor tiles and insulation. They exhibited notable surprise upon the discovery.

The skull fragments have been transferred to the National Museum for scientific analysis, including age determination. While it is not yet known when the individual lived or whether they were an Icelander, certain details have been ascertained.

“Initial assessment suggests that the skull fragments likely belong to a female, a rather small one, based on the size,” Ágústa Kristófersdóttir, Head of Artefact Collections at the National Museum, stated in an interview with Vísir.

Possibly used as an ashtray

There is currently no evidence to indicate that the individual sustained injuries during her lifetime. However, it appears that the bones may not have been properly cared for post-mortem. “In the past, skulls were sometimes used as ashtrays. We have such specimens in our collection,” Kristófersdóttir noted. When asked if this theory was viable, Ágústa replied: “Yes, and further examination in the future could provide more insights.”

Experts have yet to determine how the skull fragments ended up in the Prime Minister’s residence. “It is clear that the fragments were intentionally placed beneath the attic floor. They didn’t merely fall between the floorboards. It appears that someone made a deliberate decision to put them there,” Kristófersdóttir stated.

The discovery has intrigued many, including researchers. “The situation is reminiscent of the opening scene in a crime novel, a sentiment that is shared by everyone – even among the most coldly rational scientific professionals,” she added.

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