New research into Judith of West-Francia, first countess of Flanders

(13-03-2023) A multidisciplinary team reopens research into the enigmatic Judith of Flanders

In 2003-2006, underneath Saint-Peter's square in Ghent, the remains of seven elite early medieval individuals were discovered during a large-scale archaeological campaign. Early research, published in 2010, put forward the hypothesis that one of them might be Judith, the elusive first countess of Flanders from the second half of the ninth century. Now, two decades later, historians, bio-anthropologists and archaeologists have joined forces to reopen and reinvestigate Judith's case using the latest methods and techniques and applying the significant progress made in several fields of study. The idea of conducting such a multidisciplinary project came about a year ago, in between recording sessions for the ‘Verhaal van Vlaanderen’ tv-show. The project is led by Steven Vanderputten, professor of medieval history, and Isabelle De Groote, professor of bio-anthropology, together with the Ghent City Archaeology Service and Historische Huizen, curator of Ghent's famous Saint-Peter's abbey.

First results will be communicated in an open public lecture for Heritage Day 2023 on April 23rd at Saint-Peter's abbey. You can find the announcement and registration link here.

If you would like to know more about the project, the people involved, the methodologies and the process of setting up multidisciplinary research, make sure to have look at the project videos! You can find these on Medieval/Modern! Tip: Dutch and English subtitles can be selected via the "cc"-button.

National media coverage

In the slipstream of 'Het Verhaal van Vlaanderen', the 'Judith'-project has enjoyed significant media coverage. You can find a sample of the reporting below, mostly in Dutch and French.

Front image is copyright of VRT/De Mensen