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Thread: "Red Lady" of Spain-Magdalenian burial site-in the news again

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    "Red Lady" of Spain-Magdalenian burial site-in the news again



    A Magdalenian burial site has yielded bones from a woman whose bones were tinted red with ochre.

    The bones are 18,700 years old.

    " Dubbed “The Red Lady,” the woman was between 35 and 40 years old at the time of death, and she ate ibex, red deer, fish, mushrooms, fungi, and seeds." They also found bone needles and beads made of perforated marine shells and animal teeth. Apparently women have always been into jewelry.

    Here is a picture of her jaw...


    They have been working on the site for a while:
    http://news.unm.edu/news/straus-has-...-cave-in-spain

    What is new is that the scientists believe they have found a burial stone for her...
    http://theweek.com/speedreads/546205...00yearold-tomb

    "Now, archaeologists excavating the cave have discovered a limestone block they believe is the woman's tombstone. The block features a triangular engraving, which they believe represents the female pubic bone. The findings are described in the March issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.
    "The lines seem to be sort of random, but there is a motif that is a triangle — repeated lines that make a V-shape," Lawrence Guy Straus, an archaeologist from the University of New Mexico who led the excavation, told New Scientist. "What is being represented, at least by some of these lines, might be a female person. Conceivably, this block serves as some kind of marker."
    The team hopes the gravestone will better explain the elaborate grave site, which could help historians understand Paleolithic cultures' burial rituals."

    Does this seem plausible?

    From the prior article it seems that the bones were collected after flesh decomposition and then stained with the red pigment. I wonder what that all meant to them. Could they have felt that as long as there was flesh on the bones they weren't quite dead yet?

    They were still apparently doing something similar in the Neolithic in Italy:
    http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-...ly-cave-020279

    They are supposedly testing the dna.


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    I don't think defleshing was uncommon in the Magdalenian, I've read about it before.
    There were instances of cannibalism as well, be it ritual or not..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    From the prior article it seems that the bones were collected after flesh decomposition and then stained with the red pigment. I wonder what that all meant to them. Could they have felt that as long as there was flesh on the bones they weren't quite dead yet?

    They were still apparently doing something similar in the Neolithic in Italy:
    http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-...ly-cave-020279

    They are supposedly testing the dna.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    I don't think defleshing was uncommon in the Magdalenian, I've read about it before.
    There were instances of cannibalism as well, be it ritual or not..
    There is also the Herxheim site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herxhei...%29#Mass_grave

    I've read a number of pre-DNA articles that claim a form of continuity of burial rites from mesolithic to neolithic.

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    @Angela

    Where did you read they are testing the DNA? I can't make it up from the article. Anyway, the interesting part is that Maju, in a reaction on the article suggesting a very narrow bottleneck for European HG's , claims that the Cantabrian refuge was far thicker populated than Middle-Europe. Since this find is basically at the end of the LGM DNA testing may prove or disprove his theory.
    Last edited by epoch; 03-04-15 at 07:16.

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    I find the red pigment to be interesting. Red ochre has been found on the bones of Neanderthals. Archeologists have speculated that it could be some means of suggesting that the person still lives in some kind of afterlife. We will never know what thoughts ancient people had about the possibility of life after death but funeral rites may suggest some kind of belief in an afterlife. Perhaps such a concept was bound to occur even to early hominids, once they fully grasped the idea of death.

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    http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthre...ll=1#post77357

    Quote Originally Posted by JeanL
    This is big!!!!

    El Miron is H rCRS with −14766MseI; −7025AluI!!!

    It just got published in here:

    Ancient DNA in the Cantabrian fringe populations: A mtDNA study from Prehistory to Late Antiquity

    What's more interesting is that it has had its full Mitochondrial genome sequencing done by Paabo's team, so its only a matter of time before we see which(if any) clade of H it was.

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