updated 9/28/2010 10:22:04 AM ET 2010-09-28T14:22:04

Greek archaeologists have uncovered an ancient skeleton covered with gold in a grave on the southern island of Crete.

Excavator Nicholas Stampolidis says the grave dating to the 7th century B.C. contained more than 3,000 pieces of gold foil. The tiny ornaments, up to 1.5 inches long, had been sewn onto a lavish robe or shroud that has almost completely rotted away, and initially wrapped the body of a woman.

Stampolidis told the AP Tuesday that the find, near the ancient town of Eleutherna in central Crete, is unique in the Greek world.

The grave also contained a copper bowl, pottery, imported perfume bottles, hundreds of beads made of amber, rock crystal and faience, as well as a gold pendant in the form of a bee goddess.

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