Remains of ancient child reburied in Montana

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The 12,600-year-old remains of an infant boy have been reburied in a Native American ceremony in Montana.

Remains of ancient child reburied in Montana
A stick decorated with three feathers sits atop the gravesite, which will be revegetated
 so that it blends in with the surrounding country [Credit: Billings Gazette]

Representatives of American Indian tribes conducted the ceremony Saturday for the boy, who was between 1 year and 18 months old when he died of an unknown cause.

About 30 tribal representatives from Montana and Washington and others attended the ceremony.

Remains of ancient child reburied in Montana
This undated photo provided by researcher Sarah L. Anzick shows a nearly-complete projectile 
point, top, two mid-stage points and an “end-beveled” rod of bone from a Clovis-era burial 
site found in 1968 in western Montana. Scientists have recovered and analyzed the DNA of an 
infant who died more than 12,000 years ago and was buried at the site where these artifacts were
 found. By comparing the boy’s genome to those of present-day people, the research showed that
 many of today’s Native Americans are direct descendants of the population the boy belonged to, 
and that he is closely related to all indigenous American populations, especially in Central 
and South America, the researchers said. The DNA analysis was reported online Wednesday, 
Feb. 12, 2014 in the journal Nature. [Credit: AP /Sarah L. Anzick]

The boy’s interment came decades after his remains were found in 1968.

Scientists recently recovered the DNA of the boy, providing new indications of the ancient roots of today’s American Indians and other native peoples of the Americas.

Remains of ancient child reburied in Montana
This September 2013 image provided by researcher Mike Waters via the journal Nature shows
 the site, marked by a pole at center left, where the remains of a boy from the only known burial
 site of the Clovis culture was found in western Montana. Scientists have recovered and 
analyzed the DNA of the infant who died more than 12,000 years ago. By comparing the
 boy’s genome to those of present-day people, the research showed that many of today’s Native 
Americans are direct descendants of the population the boy belonged to, and that he is
 closely related to all indigenous American populations, especially in Central and South America, 
the researchers said. The DNA analysis was reported online Wednesday, 
Feb. 12, 2014 in the journal Nature [Credit: AP/Mike Waters]

It’s the oldest genome ever recovered from the New World.

The Billings Gazette reports that the boy’s remains were returned to a place as close as possible to the original burial site.

Source: The Associated Press [June 28, 2014]

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