Archaeologists Unearth Oldest Human Burial on Record

The “unusually muscular woman” was found in lower Central America.

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Scientists have made a stunning discovery in Nicaragua, Smithsonian Magazine is reporting. A team of Canadian, German and Nicaraguan researchers unearthed the oldest known human burial — dating back some 5,900 years ago — in the small village of Bleera Kaanu.

Though human remains tend to disintegrate relatively quickly in the acidic soil, a shell mound was placed over this woman’s grave, which “reduced the acidity of the soil and helped preserve the remains,” according to the researchers. She was 4-feet 11-inches tall, and was described by the team as having “strongly developed musculature of the forearm.”

The find was published in the journal Antiquity, according to the Smithsonian, and the find “represents an important contribution to our understanding of the early peopling” of the Caribbean.

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