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  Earliest known human burial in Africa

Martinón-Torres, M., d’Errico, F., Santos, E., Álvaro Gallo, A., Amano, N., Archer, W., et al. (2021). Earliest known human burial in Africa. Nature, 593(7857), 95-100. doi:10.1038/s41586-021-03457-8.

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Supplementary information (Supplementary material)
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Supplementary Sections A-J, including Supplementary Figures and Supplementary Tables 1-11 – see contents page for details. - pdf. - Access in institutes network. - (last seen: May 2021)
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 Creators:
Martinón-Torres, María, Author
d’Errico, Francesco, Author
Santos, Elena, Author
Álvaro Gallo, Ana, Author
Amano, Noel1, Author              
Archer, William, Author
Armitage, Simon J., Author
Arsuaga, Juan Luis, Author
de Castro, Bermúdez, Author
María, José, Author
Blinkhorn, James1, Author              
Crowther, Alison1, Author              
Douka, Katerina1, 2, Author              
Dubernet, Stéphan, Author
Faulkner, Patrick1, Author              
Fernández-Colón, Pilar, Author
Kourampas, Nikos, Author
González García, Jorge, Author
Larreina, David, Author
Le Bourdonnec, François-Xavier, Author
MacLeod, George, AuthorMartín-Francés, Laura, AuthorMassilani, Diyendo, AuthorMercader, Julio1, Author              Miller, Jennifer M.1, Author              Ndiema, Emmanuel1, Author              Notario, Belén, AuthorPitarch Martí, Africa, AuthorPrendergast, Mary E., AuthorQueffelec, Alain, AuthorRigaud, Solange, AuthorRoberts, Patrick1, Author              Shoaee, Mohammad Javad1, Author              Shipton, Ceri, AuthorSimpson, Ian, AuthorBoivin, Nicole1, Author              Petraglia, Michael D.1, Author               more..
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              
2FINDER, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2541700              

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Free keywords: Archaeology, Biological anthropology, Palaeontology
 Abstract: The origin and evolution of hominin mortuary practices are topics of intense interest and debate1–3. Human burials dated to the Middle Stone Age (MSA) are exceedingly rare in Africa and unknown in East Africa1–6. Here we describe the partial skeleton of a roughly 2.5- to 3.0-year-old child dating to 78.3 ± 4.1 thousand years ago, which was recovered in the MSA layers of Panga ya Saidi (PYS), a cave site in the tropical upland coast of Kenya7,8. Recent excavations have revealed a pit feature containing a child in a flexed position. Geochemical, granulometric and micromorphological analyses of the burial pit content and encasing archaeological layers indicate that the pit was deliberately excavated. Taphonomical evidence, such as the strict articulation or good anatomical association of the skeletal elements and histological evidence of putrefaction, support the in-place decomposition of the fresh body. The presence of little or no displacement of the unstable joints during decomposition points to an interment in a filled space (grave earth), making the PYS finding the oldest known human burial in Africa. The morphological assessment of the partial skeleton is consistent with its assignment to Homo sapiens, although the preservation of some primitive features in the dentition supports increasing evidence for non-gradual assembly of modern traits during the emergence of our species. The PYS burial sheds light on how MSA populations interacted with the dead.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-05-052021-05-06
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 26
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: Primary and intentional deposit
Burial versus funerary caching
Taxonomic assessment
Implications for human cultural evolution
Online content
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03457-8
Other: shh2923
 Degree: -

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Title: Nature
  Abbreviation : Nature
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 593 (7857) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 95 - 100 Identifier: ISSN: 0028-0836
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925427238