Baby burial 10,000 years ago reveals curious funerary ritual

A recent study speculated about the meanings behind a child burial.

Ingredi Brunato, under the supervision of Thiago Lincolns Published on 09/28/2022 at 19:07

A scientific article published by the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory at the end of last August sought to unravel the meanings behind a funeral ritual performed in Italy 10,000 years ago.

The burial studied was of a female baby who was between 40 and 50 days old. Interestingly, the little one, dubbed by experts as “Snow”, was buried alongside several pendants and seashells.

A relevant detail is that these ornaments had signs of wear from use, showing that they were created and used long before the girl was born. This fact led researchers to question, therefore, why these artifacts, which were possibly passed from generation to generation, would have been buried with the baby.

Given the effort required to create and reuse pendants over time, it is interesting that the community decided to dispose of them at the burial of such a young individual.” Claudine Gravel-Miguelthe anthropologist who led the study, according to


The hypothesis raised by the article to answer the question starts from the theory that ornamental objects would be seen as protections “against evil”, an interpretation that is based on previous research.

As the baby died despite using them, however, it could be said that the artifacts would have “failed” in the symbolic function that the community ascribed to them. That way, instead of reusing them, they were discarded by being buried next to Snow’s corpse.

This article contributes truly original information about the archeology of child care. It brings together the science and art of archeology to get at the ‘human’ element that drives the kind of research we do.” Julien Riel-Salvatoreco-author of the article.

+ Check out the full study clicking here.

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