Science & Tech

Burial of infant ‘Neve’ could be oldest of its kind in Europe

A digital reconstruction of the Arma Veirana cave in Italy, where archaeologists found the remains of an infant girl buried 10,000 years ago. (Image credit: Cisa3 Team)

Archaeologists in Italy have unearthed the earliest known female infant burial in Europe, the 10,000-year-old grave of a newborn baby. The young girl, who researchers have nicknamed “Neve,” was buried with a rich array of grave goods, such as shell beads and pendants.

The discovery sheds light on the cultural beliefs and social status of post-ice age humans in Europe — a period in human prehistory from which recorded burials are remarkably rare. The care given to the infant upon her burial suggests that even the tiniest members of this ancient society were considered “people,” the researchers argue. 

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