The skull had been found last week in saucepan in a meadow near Vienna’s Wilhelminen hospital by a hospital employee and the theory at the time was that it was probably a replica.
But tests carried out on the skull show that it is in fact real, although authorities are none the wiser as to where it has come from or why it is painted.
As well as flowers, the skull is decorated with the words ‘gehängt 1612’ (hanged 1612), although archaeology experts say the bones are much too young to be be dated back to the 17th Century. They have not been able to date it exactly yet.
The name ‘Amelie Lagrange’ had also been written on the skull but city archaeologist Karin Fischer-Ausserer confirmed to the ORF that it actually belonged to a man.
Fischer-Ausserer said that although the skull is real, it appears as if parts of it have been put together. On the back a piece of vertebrae from a cow has been stuck on and she also believes that the jaw could have come from a different person
“It is a compilation of several components, assembled artistically,” she said, adding that the find is “probably a bizarre hoax”.
The archaeologist said that it’s clear to her that it is not crime-related and she believes it has not come from a murder victim.
But what exactly the skull was doing in the meadow and why it is painted remains a mystery.