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The Oldest Intentional Burial (Circa 100,000 BCE)

Pieces of ochre excavated in Qafzeh, Israel, suggesting intentional burial. Photocredit: James Di Loreto, & Donald H. Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)

The oldest intentional burial site was discovered in 1933 by R. Neuville at Qafzeh, Israel.  The remains of as many as 15 individuals were found in a cave, along with 71 pieces of red ocher and ocher-stained stone tools. The ocher was found near the bones, suggesting it was used in a ritual" (http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/behavior/oldest-intentional-burial, accessed 05-10-2010).