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Judith - The first countess of Belgium


A team from UGent is conducting a new and large-scale research into the figure of Judith of West Francia, a princess who made it to first countess of Flanders in the early Middle Ages (9th century). The go-ahead for this research was given by the TV programme 'Het Verhaal van Vlaanderen'. In the third episode, the producers focused on Judith. Shooting followed with professor Steven Vanderputten (UGent) and city archaeologist Geert Vermeiren. During filming, they got talking and the idea was born to pull finds from under the dust and open a new investigation. 

Bones were found that experts attributed to Judith, the very first countess of Flanders. Scientific research was done, using the techniques of the time. It yielded very little. However, it was confirmed that it was a woman. Whether it was Judith is not certain. The bones disappeared in a box in the depot for 20 years... until now. 

Vanderputten contacted colleagues within the university immediately after the shooting. There was enormous enthusiasm to investigate further.  ArcheOs committed itself to study the skeletal material and apply the newest biomolecular techniques to the bones. Not only the bones themselves, but also the mysterious figure Judith van Vlaanderen and the site where the finds came from form part of the investigation of the bigger UGent team.

Research Team

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Prof Dr Isabelle De Groote

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Dr Jessica Palmer


Dr. Maité Rivollat

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