Subscribe to Archaeology

Down Syndrome Identified in Prehistoric Remains in Ireland

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Ireland Poulnabrone TombDUBLIN, IRELAND—According to an Irish Central report, geneticist Lara Cassidy of Trinity College Dublin and her colleagues have found evidence of Down Syndrome in the remains of a six-month-old baby recovered at Poulnabrone, a megalithic tomb in County Clare. Genetic analysis of material recovered from an inner ear bone revealed that the child, a boy who lived between 4,000 and 6,000 years ago, had three copies of Chromosome 21, which produces a range of developmental delays and physical disabilities. Examination of the remains also revealed that the boy’s skull and eyes had the distinctive shape associated with the condition. To read about a 5,500-year-old passage tomb north of Dublin, go to "Passage to the Afterlife."

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement