. Approximate age of the skeletons found from 4 to 8,000 years. Cambridge University archaeologist Mary Anne Tafuri says that it was a family crypt — For many years people for generations buried their relatives there.
In the cemetery are buried about 15 women and children, and later, when this place came the desert, under a huge rock, called "tumuli", was buried 5 men and boys.
This discovery, made public in March in the journal «Journal of Anthropological Archeology», indicates a change in culture because of the climate. About 6-8 thousand years ago the territory of the Sahara desert, which was called Wadi Takarkori was covered with varied vegetation. Amazing cave drawings show how the ancient inhabitants were engaged in cattle breeding (breeding cows), and in fact it required a lot more water than there is in the modern desert.
Archaeologists Tafuri and Savino di Lerna began archaeological excavations in the area in 2003-2006. In the same area were also found ancient huts, skeletons of animals and objects, tableware, suggesting that the ancient inhabitants of Africa were able to prepare dairy products.
To determine the age of the remains of skeletons Tafuri studied for the presence of isotopes — molecules of the same element but different weights. A team of archaeologists concluded that the skeletons were buried in the ground for more than 4 thousand years. Men and teenagers were buried about 4,500 years ago, and the rest over 6,000 years ago. Tafuri reported that the rock paintings can be seen draining the territory, they depict breeding goats that need less water than cows.
In addition, scientists believe that for thousands of years old burial ground used by the same group of people — it speaks of the division of society into groups.
"A separate burial of women and children indicates a clear separation by gender — says Marina Gallinari, a researcher of African history at the University of Rome. — Perhaps before women played in society more important role. But when 5000 years ago, the Sahara's beginning to increase significantly, the culture has changed, and the place of man in society has increased significantly. "
Biologist of the same University of Rome Luigi Boitani, who worked on the excavation of the region, said that in this area are still many places worthy of study. According to him, the region is full of mysteries for the historian.
Translation Sergei Vasilenkova
See also: ancient artifacts, ancient artifacts.