Vienna Museum of Natural History

Science • Archaeology & History
Archaeologists unravel the mystery of the Paleolithic children's grave in Krems-Wachtberg (Austria)
Archaeologists unravel the mystery of the Paleolithic children's grave in Krems-Wachtberg (Austria)
Credit: Copyright OREA ÖAW

The mystery of the 2005 excavated grave in Krems-Wachtberg in Austria, which is about 31000 years old and in which two skeletons of new-born children were found, was unraveled by Archeologists of the Natural History Museum Vienna and the University Vienna. Gene analytics showed that the two boys, who were buried under a mammoth scapula, were identical twin brothers.

The one boy died during or shortly after birth, the second one about six or seven weeks later. Those children are the oldest recorded identical human twins. A nearby found skeleton of a male toddler of 13 or 14 weeks appears to be related to both brothers - he was their cousin.