Newly revealed archaeological finds at Sidon in Lebanon include the rare remains of a Canaanite child and its funerary jar, the British Museum excavation team revealed on Monday.
By the time of the Canaanites, burial in jars had been the local practice for thousands of years throughout the region. The burial jars archaeologists found in copper-age Sidon had all contained adults. However, the burial presented Monday was a child.
The child was interred with a necklace around its neck, said the team, headed by Dr. Claude Doumet-Serhal.
The fact of the child's burial, with a funerary vessel and jewelry, could be indicative of status, or of the value attributed to children. Prehistoric burials had been confined to adults, indicating that children were held to be of little importance.
Lebanon, like Israel, is on the Mediterranean Sea and is smack on the route – or at least one route - by which humans and their predecessors left Africa for the rest of the world. Throughout the region and in Sidon too, archaeologists have found stone axes, chisels, and bifacial tools from the Stone Age.