Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Twins immemorial

Behold the earliest known example of twins in the archaeological record, dating back almost 8,000 years to the Neolithic Era. Sad to say, it is also the oldest example of death by dystocia, or obstructed labor. The skeleton of the 20- to 25-year-old mother– with the bones of 2 infants, one in a breech position, in her pelvic region – was discovered in a prehistoric cemetery called Lokomotiv, near present-day Irkutsk in Russia, and her burial was indistinct from others at the site. As Canadian archaeologist Angela Lieverse of the University of Saskatchewan points out, "It suggests either they didn't know she had twins or that dying during childbirth wasn't so out of the realm of possibility that it would be considered unique."

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