American scientists who conducted a study in Jordan found the remains of a woman’s body that was cremated 20,000 years ago. It is stated that the residue will give important information about the death rituals.
American scientists who conducted the study in Jordan found the remains of a woman who was cremated 20,000 years ago. This discovery of a partially cremated body in an incomprehensible death ritual suggests that beliefs about death date back much earlier than currently thought.
Until now, it was thought that the planned burial or cremation of the dead in the Middle East began about 10,000 years ago, not earlier than the Neolithic Age.
But charred remains discovered in a seasonal, temporary shelter suggested that Middle Eastern hunter-gatherers had reached new perspectives on death some 20,000 years ago.
The ruins were discovered in 2016 at Kharaneh IV, one of the largest Epipalaeolithic sites in West Asia, located in the steppes east of Jordan.
The woman’s burnt body was found in a 20,000-year-old hut. The discovery pointed to one of the oldest connections between death and man-made structures.
The archaeologist team was led by Lisa Maher from the University of California Berkeley and Danielle Macdonald of Tulsa University.
In the team’s new article published in the refereed science journal Journal of Anthropological Archeology, it was stated that the charred remains were examined. Applications for the dead according to the findings, The roots of hunter-gatherers are rooted in long-standing practices that trace back to the time when they lodged at hunting and trading grounds in eastern Jordan each year.
The findings show that after the fire was lit, the woman’s body was tilted and her knees bent. The woman’s body was then carefully placed inside the shelter, before the shrubbery shelter blazed and eventually collapsed into its walls.
According to Ancient Origins, these new findings point to people starting to link death to certain structures much earlier than thought. It is stated that these practices reflect the “belief that death will remain close to life through rituals”.
THE ONLY STRUCTURE RELATED TO THE FUNERAL CEREMONY
The remains of at least three other huts were found in Kharaneh IV, but the dating of the mentioned hut to 19,400 years ago made it more interesting. Moreover, according to the researchers, it was the only structure that “linked the death of a person with the demolition of a building as part of a funeral ceremony”.
The hut in question is thought to be the place where the woman lived with her family. However, it may also be built specifically for the woman’s death ritual.
In both possibilities, the findings show that the community in which the woman lives has gone to great lengths to establish the eternal resting place for the body of the deceased.
The meaning and significance of the ritual that the hunters in Kharaneh IV organized for the woman burning in a hut will perhaps never be known. Beliefs associated with a particular moment in time will undoubtedly remain an inaccessible mystery.
MAY SIGN REBIRTH
Peter Akkermans of Leiden University, who was not involved in the new research, commented on the findings:
This evidence of fever use may refer to some kind of cycle of transformation, rebirth, purification, or life death.
It is known that in ancient times, fire was seen as the trigger factor that brought a person to this world and other worlds. And perhaps the most fascinating thing is that 20 thousand years ago, those around him were sending off their loved ones with ceremonial rituals just like today.
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