Archaeologists have uncovered a rare burial of children from 8,000 years ago in Indonesia. The discovery is also the first of its kind to be discovered from the early mid-Holocene period.
The remains of the child were estimated to be between four and eight years old at the time of death and provided an expert to see how the funeral was conducted at that time.
Red ocher paint was placed on the child’s cheek and a stone was found under his head.
Through the discovery as well, it was found that the child’s arms and legs had been removed before the funeral. It is a practice that has been observed at other funeral sites from the same time period.
“The lack of long bones is a practice that has been documented in several other burials from a similar time period in Java, Borneo, and Flores, but this is the first time we have seen it in a child’s burial,” said the archaeologist.
“We don’t know why long bone removal was practiced, but it’s likely some aspect of the belief system of the people who lived at this time,” she said.
The remains of the children were found in Makpan Cave on Alor Island. It is the first child burial of the Holocene period. Hopefully, the discovery, it can explain how people at that time viewed children.
“By comparing other adult burials we have found from the same time period with this child burial in a future project, we hope to build a chronology and general view of burial practices in this region from between 12,000 to 7,000 years ago, which at the moment is still scant, “she added.
A paleontologist from the Australian National University, Sofia Samper Carro says the child’s gender and age are still unknown.
Although the teeth correspond to the six- to eight-year-old teeth, the skeleton is closer to the four- or five-year-olds.
“We want to do some further paleo-health research to find out if this smaller skeleton is related to diet or the environment or possibly to being genetically isolated on an island,” Samper Carro said.
“Adult skulls on Alor were also relatively small,” she added.
Source: Daily Mail
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