Researchers Find Cremated Remains of Ice-Age Child
In Northern Alaska, anthropologists have found the cremated remains of an ice-age child. The remains of the child are being called “Xaasaa Cheege Ts’eniin” or “Upper Sun River Mouth Child,” because she was found in the mouth of the Sun River area of central Alaska. These cremated remains are an extraordinary discovery, as they are the oldest cremated remains ever found on the North American continent. It has been estimated that the little girl died more than 11,500 years ago. The little girl was three-years-old when she passed. While her remains were cremated, it was nearly impossible and very dangerous to keep a fire hot enough to incinerate a body, therefore, she was only partially cremated.
She was found in a fire pit of what more than likely used to be an ancient home in central Alaska based on other small finds in the area. There were fossils of fish and ancient crockery also found in the area that suggests her burial spot was the kitchen of the tiny home. Because of the grueling conditions of the time that she passed, it was entirely possible that she could have died of cold, or cannibalism, but that is still unknown. There were bits of fish and ancient crockery mixed with her remains suggesting that she was more than likely part of a meal instead of eating one, something not uncommon when little food was available.
The girl is thought to be native to the area as she had Northern American and Northeast Asian features. One of the researchers that helped to make the discovery hopes to compare the ice-age girl’s DNA to his own to note potentially important similarities and differences made to our genetic makeup over the centuries. This discovery could be one of the most important finds in all of mankind. Not only could this discovery help scientists learn significant information about evolution and genetics, but also how people lived in the area during the ice age.