Die Kindergräber der neolithischen Siedlung Shir in Syrien
In den Häusern der großen Siedlung von Shir in Syrien wurden sehr viele Kinderbestattungen gefunden. Die Untersuchung der Kinderskelette kann viele Informationen über die Krankheiten und das Leben in der Siedlung liefern.
The Neolithic settlement of Shir is located 12 km northwest of Hama, in western Syria. It dates to 7000 6200/6100 BC (calibrated data), representing the early Late Neolithic period, and is situated on top of a terrace, near the river Orontes. Fertile soils, permanent access to water and mild temperatures made this area a good place for settlement.
Interestingly, most of the individuals investigated so far died at a very young age. The majority did not survive past the age of three years and there were very few juveniles and adults present in the material. It was possible to find traces of deficiency diseases in these young infants, e.g., signs of scurvy and anemia. The orbital roof and the skull vault in particular exhibited typical changes of these diseases. Scurvy is due to vitamin C deficiency and leads to severe bleeding, also visible as small porotic plate-like structures attached to the bone. Anemia is characterized by a thickening of the external lamina of the skull vault with a porotic surface. Numerous different causes of anemia are known. The question of what kind of anemia the children suffered from and why they developed scurvy in this fertile environment is still under examination.