The earliest adorned female infant burial in an Italian cave helps in revealing the evolution of personhood in Europe
Arizona (US): An infant girl, adorned with a rich selection of treasured beads and pendants was buried in an Italian cave by a group of hunter-gatherers nearly ten thousand years ago, just after the last Ice Age, https://phys.org/news/2021 reports said.
To signal their grief, hunter-gatherers put an eagle-owl talon on the infant’s body and nicknamed her as showing that even the youngest females were recognized as full persons in their society.
An analysis of the ornaments, which includes over 60 pierced shell beads and four shell pendants, was done by Claudine Gravel-Miguel, a postdoctoral researcher with the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University (ASU) and coauthor was published this week in Nature Scientific Reports and offers insight into the early Mesolithic period, from which few recorded burials are known.
“The evolution and development of how early humans buried their dead as revealed in the archaeological record have enormous cultural significance,” says Jamie Hodgkins, ASU doctoral graduate, and paleoanthropologist at the University of Colorado Denver, https://phys.org/news/2021 reports said.
Mortuary practices also highlight the worldviews and social structure of past societies. Child funerary treatment provides important insights into who was considered a person and afforded the attributes of an individual self, moral agency, and eligibility for group membership.
The research team started surveying Arma Veirana, a cave in the Ligurian pre-Alps of northwestern Italy is a popular spot for local families to visit the site in 2015 and discovered the remains during the last week of the 2017 field season.
The team of project coordinators includes Italian collaborators Fabio Negrino, University of Genoa, and Stefano Benazzi, University of Bologna, as well as researchers from the University of Montreal, Washington University, University of Ferrara, University of Tubingen, and the Institute…