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13,500-Year-Old Burial Unearthed in China

Thursday, April 18, 2019

GUANGZHOU, CHINA—Xinhua reports that a 13,500-year-old tomb at the site of the Qingtang ruins in southeastern China has yielded the remains of a young woman who died between the ages of 13 and 18 and was buried, without her head, in a squatting position. Liu Suoqiang of the Guangdong Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology said the woman was deliberately put in a squatting posture. “It points to the emergence of the concepts of life and death and of primitive religious beliefs,” Liu explained. Researchers are also trying to determine whether the woman’s head was missing due to natural causes, or whether it was removed. Burials containing remains arranged in a squatting posture have been found in other prehistoric tombs in southern China and Southeast Asia, though the symbolism of the posture is unclear. A bone pin was also found in the young woman's grave. For more on archaeology in China, go to “Early Signs of Empire.”

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