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Thread: Sunghir gave a rich burial to disabled children.

  1. #1
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Sunghir gave a rich burial to disabled children.

    See:

    https://www.livescience.com/61743-ri...c-burials.html

    These ancient people (34,000 yago), buried two young boys with severe disabilities with more riches than were accorded to adult males.

    "The roughly 10- and 12-year-old boys were buried head to head in a long, slender grave filled with riches, including more than 10,000 mammoth ivory beads, more than 20 armbands, about 300 pierced fox teeth, 16 ivory mammoth spears, carved artwork, deer antlers and two human fibulas (calf bones) laid across the boys' chests, the researchers said.
    In contrast, the remains of a roughly 40-year-old man, an individual who would have had more time and physical ability to contribute to the group, had far fewer treasures: about 3,000 mammoth ivory beads, 12 pierced fox canines, 25 mammoth ivory arm bands and a stone pendant. "

    "Researchers have known about the Sunghir burials for about half a century. The burials, which date to the Mid Upper Paleolithic, are located on the northeast outskirts of Vladimir, Russia, and were excavated from 1957 to 1977."

    "Both boys experienced repeated periods of extreme stress, according to an analysis of their dental enamel, the study said. What's more, the 10-year-old boy's thighbones are "exceptionally bowed and short," Trinkaus and co-lead researcher Alexandra Buzhilova, an anthropologist at Lomonosov Moscow State University, in Russia, wrote in the study. But otherwise, the young boy was physically active, an analysis of his skeleton showed.Meanwhile, the 12-year-old boy's teeth had almost no wear, "which, to us, doesn't sound like much, but people from this time wore their teeth down quickly," Trinkaus said. Analyses of his skeleton indicate that the boy was bedridden, Trinkaus added.
    It's possible the group was feeding the 12-year-old boy soft foods, such as porridge, but "it is really bizarre to have an individual who looks like he was bedridden in a group of hunters and gatherers who were extremely mobile," Trinkaus said."

    Were the boys the sons of the leader? Did they equate birth defects for some reason with the attention of the gods?

    The authors don't talk about it, but I also find the following very interesting.

    "These two boys aren't the only people with disabilities known to have received burials during this time period. "Indeed, in the Mid Upper Paleolithic, individuals with marked developmental or degenerative abnormalities are relatively common in the burial record, accounting for a third of the sufficiently well-preserved individuals," the researchers wrote in the study.
    However, it was slightly less common for youngsters to receive such a burial during this period, the researchers said. "

    Was this a function of the small population sizes and thus of inbreeding?


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    I suppose that these deformed children and having to take porridge were taken by their parents and the community as long-term babies, and in their attempt to pretend that they surpassed the pre-natal period they continued to care for them with the desire to overcome, they had to ignore that their pathologies They were insurmountable. Finally they died and were buried with excessive trousseau, I think that so many years of effort and dedication to these children would have developed a special love for these children and is reflected in the rich trousseau since having taken care of them in that way reflects that these people had feelings and in some way they followed their tradition of protection and care beyond death.

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    Sunghir gave a rich burial to disabled children.

    Maybe the Children were worshiped as Demigods because of the deformities.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos View Post
    I suppose that these deformed children and having to take porridge were taken by their parents and the community as long-term babies, and in their attempt to pretend that they surpassed the pre-natal period they continued to care for them with the desire to overcome, they had to ignore that their pathologies They were insurmountable. Finally they died and were buried with excessive trousseau, I think that so many years of effort and dedication to these children would have developed a special love for these children and is reflected in the rich trousseau since having taken care of them in that way reflects that these people had feelings and in some way they followed their tradition of protection and care beyond death.
    That's a lovely thought. I think you do grow to love the sick or even the difficult child more.The more you give them the more you love them. Not fair to the other children, but I see it a lot.

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    @ Angela

    the population size was small but there was no inbreeding
    there is a section dedicated to this in the Sunghir paper

    the same in the recent Tarofalt paper, a small population, but no direct kinship

    the authors concluded there must have been certain rules or taboos under HG to prevent inbreeding

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    @ Angela
    the population size was small but there was no inbreeding
    there is a section dedicated to this in the Sunghir paper
    the same in the recent Tarofalt paper, a small population, but no direct kinship
    the authors concluded there must have been certain rules or taboos under HG to prevent inbreeding
    Now I remember you told me that before. :)

    To what could we attribute the high percentage of deformities that they find in the graves then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Now I remember you told me that before. :)

    To what could we attribute the high percentage of deformities that they find in the graves then?
    interesting question, but I have no clue, neither do the researchers

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    Creo que las deformidades de los bebés se debieron a una dieta altamente y casi exclusivamente de proteínas en la madre durante el embarazo.

    Could anyone think: why are not all children born with deformities? I think the answer could be in the seasons since pregnant women throughout the winter would consume an exclusively protein diet, unlike the ones that were packed in spring and summer, where perhaps they consumed a somewhat more varied diet.

  9. #9
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    Scarcity of nutrients could be one factor.

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    Well ok I guess that could be one, especially if these kinds of deformities are found in modern day impovished populations.
    mmmmmmmmm dooouuughhhnuuuutz

  11. #11
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    They do say in the article that the boys showed stress from malnutrition. For all that people opine the diet of the hunter-gatherers was good, I think they were probably always on the verge of starvation, as was all of humanity for most of its history.

    Vitamin B12, for example, is known to be necessary to cut down the risk of neural tube problems.

    "
    Study Shows B12 Deficiency May Raise Risk of Spina Bifida and Other Neural Tube Defects.

    Vitamin B12 is found in meat, poultry, milk and eggs."

    https://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20090302/birth-defects-linked-to-low-vitamin-b12#1

    I mean, things do go wrong even today. Mutations happen. Lack of B-vitamins can cause real problems for developing fetuses. However, one third is a huge number for the population as a whole.

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