The remains of a woman who lived nearly 8,000 years ago, who died while she was giving birth to twins, shows the first evidence ever found about a prehistoric double pregnancy.
A team of archaeologists and paleoanthropologists have announced the discovery of a prehistoric tomb located in Siberia, which contained the body of a young woman who passed away during child birth. She had been found together with her unborn twins, which she was about to bring to the world. Her death has been dated around 7,700 years ago, and it has been classified as the oldest case of death during child birth and at the same time, the oldest recorded case of twins pregnancy, noted researchers in an article which described the finding, published in the February issues of the Antiquity journal.
The tomb where the remains of the woman and her twins were found, has been discovered in 1997, in an ancient necropolis from Irkuțk, a small town found near the southern part of the lake Baikal, from Russia. The necropolis was given the unofficial name of “Lokomotiv” because it was discovered at the base of a hill during the construction work of the Trans Siberian rail road, in 1897.
During the first examination, it was assumed the woman had died while barring one child, but further studies have found a second set of bones in her pelvic area. The age of the woman, was believed to have been between 20 and 25 years old.
Her death might have been caused by the unusual arrangement of the babies when she was about to give birth. One of the twins was positioned with his feet down and the other was in the normal position, with his head down. This is a situation happening, even today, in 20% of the twin pregnancies, and doctors consider it a high risk delivery, explained researchers in the written study. It is possible that one of the twins might have remained stuck in the birth canal, which lead to the death of the three of them.
The region where the necropolis is located, was partially covered in constructions, which stopped archeologists from being able to explore the whole sight. Until now, experts have managed to recover 101 skeletons belonging to the members of a community of hunters/harvesters which inhabited the region around 7 to 8 thousands of years ago. The discovery of the ancient necropolis itself was a huge deal as necropolises dating so far back were very rare. The only necropolises similar to this one and from the same period, have been discovered in North Eastern Asia.
Image Source: Huff Post
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