A reconstructed image created by Archeo3D (gemeente Nieuwegein)
Archaeologists in the Netherlands have found 6000-year-old remains of a baby cradled in the arms of the woman, presumably the mother.
The baby, which experts believe may have been a newborn or as old as 6 months at the time of her death, was found during an excavation in Nieuwegein by archaeological consultants BAAC and PICK up. The site is the oldest baby tomb ever discovered in the country.
Buried under about 6.5 feet of clay and peat at what is now a modern business park, the touching find baffled archaeologists.
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Experts were surprised to find the baby in addition to the remains of a young woman, who was in the age between 20 and 30 at the time of her death. The woman buried position, however, it was unusual that the region’s neolithic Swifterbant culture. “It was already noticed that the woman’s left arm was straight along her body, but her right arm is bent,” explained the municipality of Nieuwegein, in a statement translated from Dutch.
Fragments of bones of a baby were discovered in the woman of the right arm, including the skull, the lower jaw with teeth, the collarbone and a leg.
“This is a fantastic find,” said BAAC archaeologist Kirsten Leijnse, in the statement. “Or the baby (and maybe the wife died at the birth, that we don’t know yet.”
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DNA analysis will now be carried out to determine whether the woman is indeed the mother of the baby, and also find out the baby’s gender.
Other projects around the world have grabbed headlines recently.
An international team of researchers in Israel recently discovered the oldest modern human fossil outside of Africa.
The fossil, a lower jaw with several teeth was found at Misliya Cave, one of a number of prehistoric caves on Mt. Carmel in the north of Israel. Dated between 175,000 and 200,000 years ago, the jawbone indicates that modern humans left the continent of Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than previously thought.
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Archaeologists also recently announced the discovery of an ancient prince’s tomb in southern Siberia that may contain treasures, or even an ice mummy is preserved in the regions of frozen ground.
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