Palaeolithic burial ground found near Krakow 16.12.2010 12:57
The oldest burial in Poland has been discovered by archaeologists in a cave near Kraków.
The archaeologists found the remains of a child from the Palaeolithic era, buried with a large collection of ornaments.
The team led by Jarosław Wilczyński and Piotr Wojtal from the Polish Academy of Sciences with Anita Szczepanek from Jagiellonian University found, among others, six human milk teeth and a necklace made of 112 animal teeth.
The child, which had been about eighteen months old, was laid to rest in the cave some 27.500 years ago, in the age of Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers.
Recently, archaeological findings in another cave brought up the oldest human bone fragments in Poland, dated to the Middle Palaeolithic era, however researchers say that these did not have the features of an intentional burial.
Archaeologists were also surprised to find that some of the animal teeth of the necklace found in the grave were from elk, which is thought to have disappeared from that area at the time.
Judging by this, they believe that the child’s people had travelled to the area of Kraków from the south. Researchers are still trying to establish the causes of death of the Stone Age toddler and working to confirm the dating of the burial. Stone Age people generally used caves as shelter and not burial sites.