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Mystery remains of ‘frightened’ 5,700-year-old child with ‘crushed skull’ baffle archaeologists

THE tragic remains of a six-year-old child who lived 5,700 years ago have baffled scientists.


Discovered within the ruins of a prehistoric dwelling in Turkey, the bones show signs of severe trauma, including a shattered skull.

The remains of a child who lived 5,700 years ago found in Turkey

What’s more, the young victim – whose gender is not known – was found by archaeologists with its arms wrapped around its body.

This suggests the Copper Age child was frightened and had curled itself into the fetal position.

It’s not clear if the skeleton was damaged or moved into this position before or after death.

The bones were discovered during excavations at a site in eastern Turkey near the town of Orduzu.

The youngster was aged just six or seven when they diedCredit: Scott Haddow / Flickr
“We found beads on the arms and neck of the child, which we have not seen before,” said excavation head Professor Marcelle Frangipane, a scientist at Sapienza University in Italy.

“These beads indicate that the child belonged to a noble family.”

She added that the child is thought to have lived in 3600-3700 BC.

Further examinations will reveal its gender and age, as well as how it may have died.

“The excavation team said that the child was six or seven years old, but they will work on it further,” Professor Frangipane said.

“The child may have died due to a trauma.”

The find is the latest important discovery at the Mound of Arslantepe.

The region is on its way to becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the number of archaeological finds made there.

It has been home to many ancient civilisations due to its neighbouring wetlands and the fertility of the region’s soil.