Archaeologists discover long-lost 5,000-year-old copper age cemetery in Italy

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Italy’s rich archaeological landscape has once again captured the attention of researchers, as a Copper Age cemetery has been unearthed in San Giorgio Bigarello, Northern Italy. This discovery, nestled beneath the earth’s surface, offers a glimpse into an important transitional period between the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, shedding light on ancient burial customs and societal structures.

This discovery was made during the construction of a community garden. Housing 22 tombs adorned with a myriad of artifacts, including human remains and weaponry, the site’s magnitude exceeded initial expectations, leaving researchers awe-struck at its grandeur.

Insights into burial practices

The tombs, meticulously excavated and studied, bring out the intricate details of Copper Age funerary rituals.

Among the most striking discoveries were the burial accompaniments of flint weapons—daggers, arrowheads, and blades—suggesting a deep-seated connection between weaponry and burial practices within this ancient society.

Amidst the skeletal remains, burial goods such as necklaces crafted from soapstone beads were unearthed, offering glimpses into the cultural and personal adornments of the era.

The exceptional preservation of some tombs, attributed to the sandy hill location of the cemetery, facilitated by dry sand conditions conducive to skeletal conservation, allowed for the meticulous study of these artifacts and their potential significance.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the excavation was the consistent burial orientation observed among many of the skeletons. Positioned on their left sides, with legs bent towards their chests and heads facing northwest, this distinctive burial posture bears striking similarities to burial practices observed in the Remedello culture, suggesting potential cultural connections and influences within the region.

The presence of weapons alongside the remains hints at the societal structures and roles prevalent during the Copper Age. The identification of warriors among the interred individuals sheds light on the complex interplay between culture, warfare, and burial rituals.

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