Friday, February 4, 2011

Earliest known cemetery found?

By John Roach
A 16,500-year-old cemetery with human remains — buried alongside those of a red fox — suggests humans may have had a soft spot for the animals well before dogs became man's best friend. The site at 'Uyun al-Hammam in northern Jordan is the earliest known formal burial ground in the Middle East, pre-dating other cemeteries in the region by a few millennia, scientists from Canada and the UK report in a new study published in PLoS ONE. "This may be the earliest known cemetery period," Edward Banning, an anthropologist at the University of Toronto who is leading the excavations, told me today. "It probably depends on what you mean by cemetery." Article here

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