The scientists were managed to establish the period of the oldest cremation in the Middle East. It dates back to around 7000 BC. Such data was reported by a researcher Fanny Boccantin of the French National Research Center. The fact was established by the archaeological excavations at the Beisamun site in the northern Israel. There the experts discovered an ancient cavity in the ground that presumably, could serve as a place of cremation
. Studies of the soil have shown that human remains were deliberately burned in it, apparently as part of a burial practice. Human remains were directly dated to between 7013 and 6700 BC, making them the oldest known example of cremation in the Middle East.
The skeleton belonged to a young man. The laboratory studies of the bone remains confirmed that the skeleton was exposed to the thermal effects at temperatures above 500 degrees shortly after the death of a person.
The pit in which he was placed had strong insulating walls and an open top. Microscopic plant remains were found inside the fire pit. They may have been used to light a fire. That fact leads the authors to identify this as the deliberate cremation of a fresh corpse, as opposed to the incineration of mummified remains.
The early cremation that the scientists discovered falls on an important transitional period in burial practice in this part of the planet. They confirm that a person was moving away from the old traditions. The change in rituals associated with death demonstrates a change in society.
Significant people with weight in their society were subjected to such procedures. Further exploration of other possible cremation sites in the region will help shed light on this important cultural shift.
Studying the archaeological site, the scientists found that the young man could die after being fatally wounded by a silicon shell. The researcher Fanny Bockanten notes that this assumption strongly supports the presence of a deposit.