Anthropologists at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the French National Museum of Natural History have solved the half-century-old mystery of the remains of a Neanderthal who lived about 41 thousand years ago. Scientists have found evidence that the remains of a two-year-old child were deliberately buried, indicating that ancient people had rather complicated rituals.
Researchers have carefully analyzed the bones found at the site of the Neanderthals La Ferrassi in southwestern France and kept in the museum for 50 years, since the 1970s. The experts also studied the notebooks and field logs of the archaeologists who excavated and were convinced that the child was buried.
According to the results, the scientists’ initial conclusion was correct: the child’s remains were indeed buried. Thus, the researchers did not confirm the now popular view that the version of a deliberate burial was the result of errors in the methods of archaeologists.
The remains were in an older layer of sedimentary rocks, that is, ancient people dug a hole on purpose, where they carefully placed the body. This view is supported by the fact that the remains showed no traces of animal teeth or any kind of impact, which means that the body was buried quickly.