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Remembering The Ancient Society That Buried Disabled Children Like Kings

A new study reveals that a group of hunters buried their dead that included 2 boys with physical conditions with greatest possible care. But, the dead were buried quite differently, according to the researchers. Around 10-12 year old boys were buried head to head with riches such as 10,000 mammoth ivory beads, 300 pierced fox teeth, 20 armbands, 16 ivory mammoth spears, deer antlers, carved artwork. But, the burials of around 40 year old man has fewer treasures (only 3000 mammoth ivory beads as compared to 10,000 for the boys). The burials were excavated from 1957-1977 and are located on the northeast skirts of Vladimir, Russia.

The analysis shows certain disabilities in the boys such as the 10-year old boy's thighbones are unusually bowed and short even though he was found to be physically active and the 12-year old boy's enamel showed no wear and he might be bedridden. The latter analysis is a little strange considering he was part of such a mobile group. These boys were not the only people who showed disabilities and received burials at this period of time. In the Mid Upper Paleolithic, individuals who have abnormalities often appear on the burial record. They accounted for a third of quite well preserved individuals. But, the diversity of the burial artifacts sure catches researchers attention as it signifies social complexity. People were treated differently in death or probably during life too.

By: Neha Maheshwari