“You can see that the child was laid in the pit—a fire hearth inside the house—and the fire was started on top of the child,” study co-author Joel Irish said. Charred wood from the pit allowed scientists to assign a radiocarbon date to the site.
After the cremation, the child’s hunter-gatherer clan apparently filled the 18-inch-deep (45-centimeter-deep) hearth with soil and abandoned the dwelling. No other artifacts exist above the fill line.
Story: Brian Handwerk, National Geographic News | Photo: Ben Potter, University of Alaska Fairbanks