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4,500-Year-Old Grave in Ukraine Contained Decorated Bones

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Ukraine decorated bonesPOZNAŃ, POLAND—Science in Poland reports that unusual markings have been found on the bones of a woman who was buried in a monumental mound in the central Dniester region of Ukraine some 4,500 years ago by members of a nomadic shepherding culture. At first, scientists thought the markings might have been made by animals, but recent analysis of the remains suggests they were purposely applied with a black substance resembling tar. “Some time after the woman’s death the grave was reopened, bone decoration was performed, and the bones were rearranged in anatomical order,” explained Danuta Żurkiewicz of Adam Mickiewicz University. Similar markings found on other bones have been interpreted in the past as remnants of tattoos. Żurkiewicz added that women were rarely buried in such monumental mounds. The placement of her grave and the decoration of her bones suggest she was an important member of her community. To read in-depth about body markings in the archaeological record, go to “Ancient Tattoos.”

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