Why 70% of ancient Ural settlement’s habitants didn’t live up to the age of 18

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Artifacts of the Bronze Age at the territory of the Southern Urals have been the object of active research for several decades by archaeologists from around the world. For the last decade, scientists of South Ural State University, together with international colleagues from the USA and Germany, have been researching a synchronous necropolis (Kamenny Ambar-5), located 280 km away from Chelyabinsk. Achievements of contemporary genetics allowed them to answer many questions of the earliest history.

Research fellows and students of South Ural State University‘s Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, supervised by professor Andrey Epimakhov have been carrying out excavations in the south of Chelyabinsk region. Kamenny Ambar is a settlement of the Bronze Age and it was inhabited by people with a specific lifestyle, unique cultural traditions and worldview 4000 years ago. The reinforced settlement and funerary complexes they created are of a special interest for archaeologists.

“One of the mysteries of this burial ground is the fact that there are no adult people older than 50, and about 70 percent of the buried are children of various ages. They had been buried with the full cycle of rituals, including funerary equipment and sacrifice of livestock, sheep”.

Scientists suggest that a fast life history was an adaptive regional response to a less hospitable and perhaps unstable environment. According to one theory, this was a group of migrants who came to the territory of the contemporary Southern Urals.

Results of the research were summarized in an article titled “Life in the fast lane: Settled pastoralism in the Central Eurasian Steppe during the Middle Bronze Age”, published in the American Journal of Human Biology.

Source: South Ural State University