A 5,000-Year-Old Copper Age Necropolis Was Discovered In Italy, Containing Nearly Two Dozen Tombs With Human Remains Still Inside And A Collection Of Ancient Weapons

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A necropolis from the Copper Age has been unearthed in Italy. It contains a collection of weapons and nearly two dozen tombs. Archaeologists made the discovery back in November during the construction of a community garden at San Giorgio Bigarello, a municipality in northern Italy.

The 5,000-year-old burial site stretched much farther than researchers initially thought. Excavations revealed 22 tombs with human remains still inside them. Many of the burials included flint weapons such as daggers, blades, and arrowheads.

“Some of the tombs also had burial goods like necklaces made with soapstone beads,” said Simone Sestito, the archaeological officer at the Italian Ministry of Culture. “We found at least six or seven tombs with good preservation.”

The necropolis was located on a dry, sandy hill, which helped to preserve the skeletons. The tombs were only about four inches beneath the ground, making their excellent condition even more remarkable.

Several of the skeletons were lying on their left sides “with legs bent to their chests and heads oriented to the northwest,” indicating that overlap between cultures occurred when it came to burial practices.

“The positioning of the bodies suggests that there might have been some correlation with another Copper Age culture from northern Italy known as the Remedello,” said Sestito.

Members of the Remedello culture buried their dead in a similar way. As a result, the two societies shared some resemblances. It is unclear who exactly was buried at the site, but the presence of the weapons implies that many of the individuals were warriors.

The sharp flint arrowheads have been described by The History Blog as “high-quality” and “so light they are practically translucent.” The fine craftsmanship shows that the people who made the arrowheads were incredibly skilled and had lots of experience.

All of the artifacts and human remains at the San Giorgio Bigarello site have been recovered. Currently, Sestito and his team are collaborating with researchers from the University of Bologna to perform DNA analysis on the skeletons. They hope to learn more about the identities of the people who were buried in the cemetery.

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