Early Americas girl ‘Naia’ may have been young mother

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More details have emerged about one of the oldest sets of human remains found in the Americas, a young woman nicknamed “Naia” whose nearly complete skeleton was discovered in 2007 in a water-filled cave in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Early Americas girl 'Naia' may have been young mother
The skull and left humerus of Naia, humerus at the bottom of the water-filled cave where they were discovered 
[Credit: INAH-SAS]

A study has determined that as thought, the young woman was between 15 and 16 when she died by falling into the cave about 13,000 years ago.

Researchers add that she was about 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall and weighed about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) at her heaviest, though there was evidence she had suffered episodes of famine. She had broken her arm but it later mended. Finally, the new study suggests she may have recently given birth before she died.

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said Wednesday the study was based on X-ray and other tests on the skeleton, which has been pulled out of the cave bit by bit over the last several years.

The study was conducted by James Chatters of Applied Paleoscience, a consulting firm in Bothell, Washington, and other researchers.

Source: The Associated Press [March 30, 2017]

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