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Stone Age child's bones found in Aukra - Norway

Norwegian archaeologists were ecstatic this week after making a rare discovery at Aukra in Romsdal, north-central Norway. They've confirmed finding bone fragments from a child who must have lived in the area around 6,000 years ago.

Archaeologists have confirmed that this fragment was part of a Stone Age child's chin.

The discovery was made in connection with excavations underway for the new land-base for the Ormen Lange gas field in the North Sea. Industrial concern Norsk Hydro is developing the gas field but its excavations are being conducted in cooperation with archaeologists.

Researchers know that the area around Aukra featured ancient settlements, and several thousand items already have been found and recorded.

"We knew, of course, that there were children in the Stone Age as well, but we're probably guilty of focusing on the male hunters from the period," Hein Bjerck, from the Science Museum in Trondheim (Vitenskapsmuseet i Trondheim), told newspaper Aftenposten

"But when we actually find a child, it's almost heartbreaking," Bjerck said. It's the first time a child's remains from so long ago have been found in Norway.

He said that initial examination suggests the child was between two and four years old at time of death. The child's bone fragments were found in a compact mass of sand. Archaeologists also noted contures in the sand that probably were made by a human body, as long ago as 5,000 BC.

Bjerck and members of his team were ecstatic over the discovery because "there's a lot of facts we can get out of such remains, for example cause of death, physiology and the child's diet. We're on the threshold of something very exciting."
Posted by BrigantesNation
2nd April 2004ce

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