Flowers funeral 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)
Impressions of plant stems have been found near graves at an archeological dig
in Israel, the earliest known use of flowers being used at funeral
The burial site, which is dated to between 11,700 and 13,700
years old, is located in the Rakefet Cave in Mount Carmel.
exposing graves and we found 29 human skeletons,” said Dani Nadel, an
archeologist from the University of Haifa who has spearheaded the dig. “At the
bottom of four graves, after taking out human bones, we found some kind of mark
on the rock and it turned out to be floral remains.”
Many of the
artifacts unearthed there over the years belonged to the Natufians, who were
among the first people to leave behind the nomadic lifestyle and
“We know a variety of burial customs and we try to correlate it
to a time of dramatic social and environmental changes in the Natufians,” Nadel
told The Jerusalem Post.
The Rakefet site excavations began more than 40
years ago but were recently reopened by Nadel in 2004, because he felt that the
site had more to offer and that more discoveries could be made with newer
“We’ve identified the families and the species in the case of
two of the plants, and that is really great – even the state of preservation,”