Archeologists from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks have uncovered the remains of two babies surrounded by parts of weapons. Researchers say they found the remains in a pit in what was once a hunting camp in present day Alaska.
Ice Age babies found
Archeologists have made a number of observations about ancient burial rites based on the discovery. A report from Smithsonian.com states that archeologists did not previously have much evidence about settlements and the “traditional systems” used by some of the earliest Americans.
Surveyors discovered the dig site when conducting a survey for a railroad project in 20016. It’s located in central Alaska north of the Tanana River. After initially excavating the site, archeologists found the remains of a three-year-old who had been partially cremated. The remains were in the hearth of a house scientists say was built thousands of years ago.
Details on the findings
More recently, archeologists found the remains of a baby who would have been at least six weeks old when it died. They also discovered what they believe was a stillborn fetus. They believe both babies were female. Scientists say the fetus is the youngest person whose remains date to the Ice Age and have ever been found.
The site is now referred to as the Upward Sun River site, and archeologists believe the Denali people who lived in the area occupied the hunting camp. At the time when the camp was in use, scientists say the area would have been dry and cold, although it would have been warming up a bit and getting a bit more precipitation due to a global climate thawing.
Archeologists say the people probably fished for salmon a lot during those days, just as the area’s current residents do. Local tribal groups assisted archeologists in the excavation of the site. The results of the latest findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.