The study, which examined 85 burials from the Upper Paleolithic period, found that men were buried more often than women. Infants were buried only sporadically, if at all in later periods, a difference that could be related to changes in subsistence, climate and the ability to keep babies alive, Riel-Salvatore said.
It also showed that a few ornate burials in Russia, Italy and the Czech Republic dating back nearly 30,000 years are anomalies, and not representative of the earliest Homo sapiens burial practices in Eurasia.
“The problem is that these burials are so rare – there’s just over three per thousand years for all of Eurasia – that it’s difficult to draw clear conclusions about what they meant to their societies,” said Riel-Salvatore.
Story: David Kelly, University of Colorado Denver | Photo: University of Colorado Denver