March 28, 2023

Lakeview Gazette

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Stone Age Boy’s Grave Reveals Little-Known Details About Early Humans

Excavation Neolithic cemetery Eastern Finland has yielded fine fragments Bird feathers, canine and small mammal hair, and plant fibers.

The findings obtained through soil analysis are unique because organic matter is poorly preserved in acidic soils in Finland. The study was published under the leadership of archaeologist Tuija Kirkinen PLOS ONEIntended to investigate How can soil analysis detect this highly decomposed plant and animal material?.

During the Stone Age in Finland, The dead were buried mainly in ground graves. In the tombs of that time Small amounts of organic material have been preserved from man-made materialsBut based on burials in the surrounding area, the items are known to have been made Bones, teeth and horns, skins and feathers were placed in graves.

The dead were mainly buried in pits in the ground during the Stone Age in FinlandTwitter

An experimental excavation team from the Finnish Heritage Agency examined the Majoonsuo site in 2018 because it was considered to be in danger of destruction. The burial site is located under a jungle gravel and sand road, with the top of the grave partially exposed. The site was originally endowed with a deep red ocher, iron-rich clay soil that was used not only in burials but also in rock art around the world.

During the archaeological excavations, only a few teeth of the deceased were found, which allowed us to determine that he was a boy between three and ten years old. In addition, two cross arrowheads made of quartz and two other possible objects of the same material were found. Based on the shape of these objects and their dating, it can be estimated Burial took place in the Mesolithic period of the Stone AgeAbout 6000 years before Christ.

Archaeological Excavation Area
Archaeological Excavation Area

What makes the excavation exceptional is the almost complete preservation of the soil that emerged from the tomb.. 65 bags of samples weighing between 0.6 and 3.4 kilograms were collected from outside the pit and analyzed at the University of Helsinki Archaeological Laboratory. Organic matter was separated from the samples using water, and in this way, exposed fibers and hairs were identified with the help of transmitted light and electron microscopy.

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In this context, a total of 24 fine fragments (0.2–1.4 mm) of bird feathers were identified. Seven of them were identified as coming from the bottom of an aquatic bird (Anseriformes), the oldest ever discovered in Finland. Although it is impossible to pinpoint its origin, it may have come from clothing made from the skins of waterfowl, such as a parka or anorak. The baby is also likely to be lying on a feather bed. Likewise, a fragment of a falcon feather was identified (Falconidae)

Material found in tomb: top and middle, arrowheads;  Below, two permanent jaw incisions
Material found in tomb: top and middle, arrowheads; Below, two permanent jaw incisions

Additionally, 24 mammalian hair fragments ranging in length from 0.5 to 9.5 mm were identified. Most of them were in too bad a condition to recognize them. There were great discoveries Three hairs from a canine, perhaps a houndFound at the bottom of graves, they may also come from wolf or dog skin boots.

In addition, three pieces of vegetable fibers called “basic fibers” were discovered, which come from willow or nettles. At that time, the object they were a part of could be a net used for fishing, a bundle of rope or string used for tying clothes.

With information from Europe Press


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