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8,000 year old grave dug up by Lisbon

A grave dating back some 8,000 years has been discovered by a team of archeologists from the University of Lisbon and Spain's University of Cantabria, at a dig near Alcaçer do Sal in the Alentejo, it was revealed this week.

8,000 year old grave dug up by Lisbon
The excavation site near Alcaçer do Sal in the Alentejo [Credit: Portugal News]
In a statement, the University of Lisbon said the Mesolithic-era grave was "identified this week" and that the human remains it contains "appear to correspond to a young woman, laid on her back, with a legs tightly drawn up".

It said the discovery "makes it possible to obtain detailed information about the funerary behaviour of these groups, of their ritual activities."

The remains, which are in "a good state of conservation", are to be analysed in labs - at the universities of Lisbon, Cantabria, Oxford and the Max-Planck Institute in Leipzig - for DNA, "stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes present in the bones", carbon-14 dating and paleopathological studies.

The dig, at Poças de São, in the Sado valley, is part of a broader project to systematically research the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods in the area.

Source: The Portugal News [July 12, 2013]

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