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5 March 2006
Europe's most ancient graves unearthed in Poland

Five of Europe's most ancient graves, dating back 10,000 years, have been unearthed in the village of Dwreca, central Poland. Archaeologist Marian Marciniak found the graves on the site of ancient post-glacial dunes. In them, a young woman, believed aged 18 to 21, was put to rest with a baby, a child aged 5 to 7 and another aged 7 to 11. An adult male found at the site was buried sitting upright, as if on a throne or chair.
     The bodies were dressed in animal skins decorated with the teeth of wild animals and wrapped in tree bark. The remains were then placed in tombs lined with pine logs, sprinkled with powdered red ochre to symbolise blood and burned.
The burnt-out graves where then likely covered to create small mounds. "We've been digging for 9 years, but there are still unanswered questions," Marciniak said of puzzling half-circles made of small bonfires researchers found near the graves.

Source: Deutsce Presse-Agentur, M&C Science & Mature (2 March 2006)

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