Posted By Hannah Nancy Posted On

31,000-year-old burial holds world’s oldest known identical twins

THE oldest twin burial ever found may have been discovered in Austria, according to a new study.

The eerie grave contains the remains of two infant twins and dates back to 31,000 years ago.

This is the oldest twin burial every found, according to experts

That means the twins would have lived briefly during the Upper Palaeolithic, also called the Old Stone Age.

This period was around 50,000 to 10,000 years ago.

Analysis of both twins showed one died just after childbirth and the other lived for around 50 days before being buried beside its sibling.

A third infant was found buried nearby and could have been a cousin of the twins.

The twins were found in an oval grave

The two young babies were buried in an oval shaped grave on the bank of the Danube River.

This is now an archaeological site called Krems-Wachtberg.

They were actually found in 2005 but a new study has investigated their remains further.

They were covered in red pigment and

A red pigment called ochre was used to cover the bodies of the twins and they were buried with 53 beads, some of which were made of mammoth ivory.

These beads were likely on a necklace originally.

A punctured fox tooth and three punctured mollusks were also found, which may have been on pendants before the string decayed away.

A mammoths shoulder blade was placed over the twins to protect their small bodies.

The nearby infant burial also involved ochre and a mammoth ivory pin thought to be used to tie a leather garment together.

The new study confirmed that the babies were in fact twins and also identical.

Lead researcher Maria Teschler-Nicola, from the Natural History Museum Vienna, said in the statement: “To discover a multiple burial from the Paleolithic period is a specialty in itself.

“The fact that sufficient and high-quality old DNA could be extracted from the fragile child’s skeletal remains for a genome analysis exceeded all of our expectations and can be compared to a lottery ticket.”

Genetic analysis did not reveal the sex of the baby twins but did reveal that the infant nearby was a boy.

The twins were buried on a river bank

The teeth of the twins were used to determine age and also revealed that they were breastfed.

Stress lines on the teeth of the infant nearby were said to suggest his mother may have had a breast infection that made feeding difficult or she may have even died in childbirth.

Both burials imply that all three infants were greatly cared for and their deaths probably would have been a great loss to the ancient community.