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Person 1: Female, approximately 60 years
Persons 2 and 3: Two men, 35 to 45 years
Person 4: Newborn infant
Person 5: Cremated individual of unknown age and sex
Further examination of the remains led to another startling discovery. The male skeleton is actually a composite. Its torso, skull and neck, and lower jaw belong to three separate men. New DNA tests prove that the female skeleton is also a composite formed from a male skull, a female torso, and the arm of a third person, whose gender has yet to be determined. Carbon dating indicates that the skull of the female mummy is probably 50 to 200 years older than the torso.
Archaeologists have yet to agree why these remains were mummified and then mixed together. “The mixing of remains could have been designed to combine different ancestries or families into a single line of descent,” Parker Pearson explains. “At the time, land rights would have depended on ancestral claims, so perhaps having ancestors around ‘in the flesh’ was the prehistoric equivalent of a legal document.”
The skeletal remains of the burial monument correspond to ca 550 bones, fractured and intact, a skull in a more or less good preservation state of which some bones making up the face are missing and an almost intact jawbone. No teeth were found apart from a decayed root of a right second biscupid, belonging to the lower jawbone and showing a gumboil. After carefully re-setting different fragments of dispersed bones 157 out of the 550 bones were systematically recorded in a database and an attempt has been made to attribute them to separate individuals. Furthermore, researchers identified animal bones some of which seem to belong to equine long bones. The animal bones will be studied by an expert in zooarchaeology. The minimum number of individuals identified so far corresponds to five persons; four burials and a cremation. The identified deceased of the burials are a woman (individual 1), two middle-aged men (individuals 2 and 3) and a newborn (individual 4).