The discovery of traces of semiprecious gems in the teeth of a 1,000-year-old female skeleton proved women were more widely involved in creating medieval manuscripts than previously thought, a group of international historians said on Wednesday.

A study by German-based Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and Britain's University of York found traces of lapis lazuli — which was used as a blue pigment in painting — in the dental plaque of a woman buried between A.D. 1000 and 1200.

The skeleton was unearthed in a cemetery associated with a women's monastery in Dalheim in western Germany.