3,500-Year-Old Baby Never Grows Up (ca. 1500 BC)

By: The Scribe on Sunday, September 30, 2007

The skeleton of a 3,500-year-old baby was unearthed at a quarry near Peterborough, England. It was possibly a stillbirth, and several grave goods were found inside the burial.In a quarry near Peterborough, England, archaeologists uncovered the skeleton of a tiny baby that was born around 3,500 years ago. The discovery came about 2 months after the same team found the remains of a Bronze Age man about 50 meters away, which leads workers to believe that they have located an ancient cemetery in this area.

The baby’s body was found near the center of Bronze Age burial mound at a place called Pode Hole. The discovery came as quite a surprise, because although work has been ongoing at this site for almost 8 years, very little has been revealed about the ancient people who lived in the area. Now, with two bodies found in two months, archaeologists can say that the people who lived here seemed to have created a vibrant agricultural landscape, complete with a communal burial ground.

The skeleton of the baby was found lying inside a small grave that had been lined with birch bark, and several small items had been placed alongside the body – namely, a fully intact pottery vessel with an offering inside of wheat or grain. The bones of the child were very soft and extremely fragile, leading excavators to believe that the baby may have been stillborn, or at the very least, less than a year old at the time of death.

The baby’s body and the artifacts are scheduled to undergo testing, in order to better determine things like the age, diet, and lifestyle of the people who lived in this area during the Bronze Age in England. Since two bodies in total have been uncovered in such a short period of time, it is likely that further excavation will be conducted here with the hope of finding additional burials that may yield more information about the area’s ancient community.

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