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Still Waters

4,000-year-old urn reveals the remains of a woman pregnant with twins

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Still Waters

In the hands of a trained archeologist, a well-preserved grave can be read like an obituary, detailing the health, death, travels and even fortunes of a life long gone.

Advances in technology have been pushing the limits on how well-preserved a body needs to be in order for experts to extract a biography. In the case of one young Bronze Age woman in what is now central Hungary, not even cremation could hide her tragic tale.

Researchers from institutions in Italy and Hungary have analyzed numerous samples of human remains and artefacts uncovered in a 4,000-year-old cemetery near the Hungarian city of Szigetszentmiklós.

Consisting of hundreds of clay pots buried half a kilometer from the shore of the river Danube, the 'urnfield' cemetery preserves a trove of archeological data representing a long lost culture known as the Vatya.



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