The grave of a newborn girl found in an Italian cave in 2017 was determined to be buried around 10,000 years ago, after four years of analysis. The University of Colorado Denver issued a news release on Tuesday (local time) and said that the grave discovered in Albenga, Liguria in northwestern Italy was estimated to be created around 10,211 to 9,910 years ago. It is the oldest grave of a newborn ever to be found in Europe.
The grave had been adorned with around 60 ornaments made from shells, four pendants and the nails of an eagle-owl. The research team estimated that the girl had lived for around 40 days and might have been a key member of the community, given the elaborate decorations of the grave.
The research team noted that the grave belonged to a female. “Without DNA analysis, this highly decorated infant burial could possibly have been assumed male,” said Dr. Jamie Hodgkins at the University of Colorado Denver. “It teaches us that anthropologic research should consider different possibilities.”
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