In France, scientists have thoroughly examined the cave Grotte de Cussac in the Dordogne and found the burial age of 25 thousand years, which helped to uncover the secret of the previously unknown funeral practices.

Report on the work appeared on the website of the Australian University of Wollongong, and the study published in the journal PNAS. It sheds new light on early human social practices.

The study lasted about 10 years, and in difficult conditions. The fact that this cave is recognized as an object of national heritage of France, so access to it is restricted. Previously it was discovered more than 800 petroglyphs depicting humans and animals.

These drawings were created 25-30 thousand years ago. In the cave over thousands of years, established a special microclimate. There are a lot of organics, so many, and carbon dioxide. To clear the cave the authorities do not want, believing that it may harm the pictures.

The archaeologists worked in a sterilized overalls and followed carefully to any organisms outside the cave with their clothing did not get. In addition, due to high levels of carbon dioxide, the cave is accessible only few months of the year. Efforts were not in vain. In the depths, scientists have discovered the remains of six people, whose age is the same age as drawings.

By the way, this is the first example when the age of the cave paintings discovered in the cave of the remains matched. But it was not the only secret. Human remains were found in three pits, and their location was not accidental. The analysis showed that people these pits was occupied by the bears, who fell into the cave in hibernation.

After many years, people have used these "den" as places for burial of the dead. As the researchers write, never before such burial practice was not documented. They also found that two "den" was painted with red ochre before put to the deceased.

It is also interesting that the body was initially laid in a certain way, but after some time they moved, and part of the bone was taken. In the tombs, for example, almost no skulls, but was discovered the teeth. This indicates the specifics of the funeral rites. Probably, the beliefs and customs of these people involves not only the close relationship of life and death, but even some of the relationships between the living and the dead.

"Here is clearly intentional selection of certain bones, says Dr. Elin Rotmans, researcher at the University of Wollongong and the University of Bordeaux. For example, the absence of most of the skulls and the presence of the teeth indicates that the skulls were intentionally taken out of their graves. This suggests that the people of that time dealt with their dead, manipulating them and watching them".

The number of people cellar��establishments in the cave, and the absence among them of the remains of children, is also significant. Perhaps there was some selection for burial – only the chosen had the right to be buried in "the bear pit".