Worldwide earliest twin burial

Worldwide earliest burial of monozygotic twins identified by an interdisciplinary team around OREA's Quaternary archaeology research group. Genetic, morphological and chemical analyses of two newborns found in a double grave at the Upper Palaeolithic site Krems-Wachtberg not only show they are monozygotic twins, but also indicate different ages-at-death. This implies re-opening of the grave - a mortuary behaviour hitherto undocumented for the Gravettian.

Krems-Wachtberg 2005, twin burial after its uncovery in situ (© OREA, ÖAW)

Read more in German


Maria Teschler-Nicola, Daniel Fernandes, Marc Händel, Thomas Einwögerer, Ulrich Simon, Christine Neugebauer-Maresch, Stefan Tangl, Patrick Heimel, Toni Dobsak, Anika Retzmann, Thomas Prohaska, Johanna Irrgeher, Douglas J. Kennett, Iñigo Olalde, David Reich & Ron Pinhasi, Ancient DNA reveals monozygotic newborn twins from the Upper Palaeolithic, Nature Communications Biology. Published November 6, 2020. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01372-8