Archaeologists discovered the remains of two babies dating back 11,000 years ago, to the Ice Age. The Ice Age baby skeletons were found in Alaska and the researchers say this was the first time they’ve made a discovery of infant remains in North America.
The recent archaeological discovery provides scientists with important information regarding funeral practices among people who lived during the Ice Age.
The Ice Age baby skeletons were examined by a team of archaeologists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The researchers studied the dental and skeletal remains of the two infants and concluded that one of the babies was a few weeks older than the other and one of them died while still in utero.
The recent archaeological study about the Ice Age baby skeletons was conducted by Ben Potter and his team of researchers. They unearthed the remains by the end of 2013 at a site called Upward Sun River. The site was near the Tanana river. The scientists have previously discovered the remains of a cremated three-year-old baby at the same site.
The Ice Age baby skeletons were discovered in a burial pit, 15 inches below from where the three-year-old had been found. Both discoveries date back approximately 11,500 and the scientists said that there was a short time period between the two discoveries.
The scientists believe that all three babies could have been buried at the same time.
The head of the study, Ben Potter said about the new archaeological findings that:
“Taken collectively, these burials and cremation reflect complex behaviors related to death among the early inhabitants of North America.”
The team of archaeologists also discovered “unprecedented grave offerings “, like antlers and shaped stones.
The new discovery could shed new lights on the way the early societies were structured, how they viewed death and death rituals and how they treated the younger members of their groups.
The researchers added that:
“The deaths occurred during the summer, a time period when regional resource abundance and diversity was high and nutritional stress should be low, suggesting higher levels of mortality than may be expected give our current understanding (of survival strategies at the time).”