Primary Source

Neolithic Baby Burial [Archeology]

Annotation

This infant burial is from Çatalhöyük , a Neolithic settlement in Turkey that was occupied continuously for 2,500 years, between 8000 and 6400 BCE. The infant was between six months and one year old, and the burial demonstrates great care. The infant was placed in a fetal position facing south and rested on a reed mat or basket. Red ochre, a mineral powder, had been used to decorate the body. Two anklets made of bone beads were placed around the feet, and large bead bracelets made of bone and colored stone in blue, black, and white encircled the infant's wrists. The bead artifacts were probably too large to have been worn while the baby was alive, so they may have been burial offerings. Archaeologists at Çatalhöyük preserved this burial intact by excavating it from underneath and constructing a box around it.

Source

"Mysteries of Çatalhöyük," Science Museum of Minnesota, ©2003, http://www.smm.org/catal/ (accessed March 9, 2009) and narrative from Charlie Newman Excavation Diary Entry, 16/05/99, Cambridge University Çatalhöyük archive at http://www.smm.org/catal/mysteries/burial_practices/baby_comic/ (accessed March 9, 2009).

How to Cite This Source

"Neolithic Baby Burial [Archeology]," in Children and Youth in History, Item #213, http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/primary-sources/213 (accessed September 1, 2014). Annotated by Susan Douglass