Ice Age Child Found in Prehistoric Alaskan Home
Cremation site hints at how first Americans lived—and where they came from.
What's more, if the remains yield usable DNA, the child could help uncover just who was living on the North American side of the land bridge that likely still connected the Americas to Asia at the time, experts added.
One thing that apparently isn't a mystery is how the child was memorialized.
"You can see that the child was laid in the pit—a fire hearth inside the house—and the fire was started on top of the child," study co-author Joel Irish said. Charred wood from the pit allowed scientists to assign a radiocarbon date to the site.
After the cremation, the child's hunter-gatherer clan apparently filled the 18-inch-deep (45-centimeter-deep) hearth with soil and abandoned the dwelling. No other artifacts exist above the