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Remains of Ice Age Infants Unearthed in Alaska

The remains of two infants found in Alaska in 2013 have revealed new information about the organization of societies having existed around 11 000 years ago.

ice age infants

Researchers have documented the youngest remains ever to have been discovered in the region of North America, in a site in Alaska. The remains were found back in 2013 and were those of two infants of the Ice Age period, dating back more than 11 000 years ago.

The remains were found in a burial pit under a residential building.

The artifacts that were found unveiled precious information about the lifestyle and funeral practices of the people living at that time, according to the lead author, Ben Potter.

After having spotted the remains of the two infants back in 2013, a team of researchers persevered in their quest. They put forward that the results thereof could bring about new avenues into how early communities were arranged, and how was their attitude towards the young individuals of their societies. The burial site also offered insight into how death was perceived by the people of that region having lived centuries ago.

The process of unearthing the bones is described in detail in the published paper.

Grave offerings were found in the burials: they were stone of certain shapes, with antler foreshafts.

The authors commented on this discovery in the following words:

“The presence of hafted points may reflect the importance of hunting implements in the burial ceremony and with the population as whole”.

The remains also suggested that the community the deceased infants came from might have been suffering from lack of resources like food.

The communities from which they came were an extremely old one, and the evidence of the funeral practices hinted at the level of social organisation that the people had evolved.

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