A new study from The Australian National University (ANU) has revealed the death rate of babies in ancient societies is not a reflection of poor health care, disease, and other factors, but instead is an indication of the number of babies born in that era.
The findings shed new light on the history of our ancestors and debunk old assumptions that infant mortality rates were consistently high in ancient populations.
The study also opens up the possibility mothers from early human societies may have been much more capable of caring for their children than previously thought.
“It has long been assumed that if there are a lot of deceased babies in a burial sample, then infant mortality must have been high,” lead author Dr. Clare McFadden, from the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology, said.
“Many have assumed that infant mortality was very high in the past in the absence of modern health care,” McFadden said. “When we look at these burial samples, it actually tells us more about the number of babies that were born and tells us very little about the number of babies that were dying, which is counterintuitive to past perceptions.”
— Read on www.labmanager.com/news/prehistoric-moms-may-have-cared-for-kids-better-than-we-thought-27121