The evolution and development of mortuary behaviors is of enormous cultural significance. Here we report a richly-decorated young infant burial from Arma Veirana (Liguria, northwestern Italy) that is directly dated to 10,211-9,910 cal BP (95.4% probability), placing it within the early Holocene and therefore attributable to the early Mesolithic, a cultural period from which well-documented burials are exceedingly rare. Virtual dental histology, proteomics, and aDNA indicate that the infant was a 40–50 days old female. Associated artifacts indicate significant material and emotional investment in the child’s interment. The Arma Veirana burial constitutes the earliest European near-neonate documented to be female, thus providing important insights into sex/gender-based social status, funerary treatment, and the attribution of personhood to the youngest individuals among prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups.

An infant burial from Arma Veirana in northwestern Italy provides insights into funerary practices and female personhood in early Mesolithic Europe

Cristiani E.;Romandini M.;Peresani M.
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Negrino F.
2021

Abstract

The evolution and development of mortuary behaviors is of enormous cultural significance. Here we report a richly-decorated young infant burial from Arma Veirana (Liguria, northwestern Italy) that is directly dated to 10,211-9,910 cal BP (95.4% probability), placing it within the early Holocene and therefore attributable to the early Mesolithic, a cultural period from which well-documented burials are exceedingly rare. Virtual dental histology, proteomics, and aDNA indicate that the infant was a 40–50 days old female. Associated artifacts indicate significant material and emotional investment in the child’s interment. The Arma Veirana burial constitutes the earliest European near-neonate documented to be female, thus providing important insights into sex/gender-based social status, funerary treatment, and the attribution of personhood to the youngest individuals among prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups.
2021
Hodgkins, J.; Orr, C. M.; Gravel-Miguel, C.; Riel-Salvatore, J.; Miller, C. E.; Bondioli, L.; Nava, A.; Lugli, F.; Talamo, S.; Hajdinjak, M.; Cristiani, E.; Romandini, M.; Meyer, D.; Drohobytsky, D.; Kuester, F.; Pothier Bouchard, G.; Buckley, M.; Mancini, L.; Baruffaldi, F.; Silvestrini, S.; Arrighi, S.; Keller, H. M.; Griggs, R. B.; Peresani, M.; Strait, D. S.; Benazzi, S.; Negrino, F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2469718
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