(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists have discovered the oldest known human remains in northern Germany (in Lüchow) in a 10,500-year-old grave (cremated remains) in Schleswig-Holstein.
The remains were discovered in the Duwensee Bog, a prehistoric inland lake that contains more than 20 Mesolithic and Neolithic archaeological sites.
The swamp’s anaerobic environment preserves organic remains, including burnt bones, but there are so few left that it wasn’t until the team discovered a human femur that they were able to confirm they had found a burial.
Burials of hunter-gatherer-fishermen who lived in Europe in the early Mesolithic era are extremely rare.
Mesolithic burials were previously discovered in northern Germany and southern Scandinavia, but only from the late Mesolithic period (7-6 thousand BC).
The only burial comparable in time was found in Jutland, Denmark. This is also a cremation burial, indicating that cremation may have been the preferred burial method among Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.
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