/ 07 May 2021

Small bones lead to big discovery

Archaeologists have discovered the oldest known modern human burial site in Africa, a study published in Nature revealed yesterday. The remains of a 3yo child buried 78,000 years ago were found at the entrance of the Panga ya Saidi cave located in southeast Kenya. While older burial sites dating back 120,000 years have been found in Europe, this discovery has researchers excited because only a few ancient burial sites have been found in Africa. It’s thought that could be due to poorer preservation conditions in Africa’s climate, fewer excavations being undertaken on the continent, and differences in the burial practices of early humans. “This burial adds to our understanding of symbolic and conceptual complexity in human populations,” study co-author and archaeologist at the University of Sydney Patrick Faulkner said.

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