Fairbanks, Alaska (UPI) Feb 24, 2011
Scientists said an abandoned Ice Age settlement in central Alaska yielded the cremated remains of a 3-year-old child.
The remains were found in what had been a fire pit along the Tanana River and researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were hopeful some ancient DNA could be extracted, the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News said Thursday.
One of the scientists on the team said an examination of the teeth appeared to show traits of both North Americans and northeast Asians.
The discovery was first reported in the Feb. 25 edition of the journal Science.
The remains are the oldest cremated remains ever discovered in North America and came from a youngster who died about 11,500 years ago.
The site had been a small village or other living area used by early humans who hunted and fished in the area. It appeared to have been abandoned about the time the child died.
The Daily News said Alaskan Natives in the area have dubbed the long-dead child Xaasaa Cheege Ts'eniin, which means "Upper Sun River Mouth Child."
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