- Archeologists found the child's skeleton preserved naturally mummified in the dry cave.
- The "Cave of Horrors" takes its name from the 40 skeletons found during excavations in the 1960s.
- A CT scan revealed the child was aged between 6 and 12 and is thought to have been a girl.
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Archeologists have discovered the 6,000-year-old skeleton of a child in the "Cave of Horrors" in Israel's Judean Desert alongside ancient Dead Sea scrolls as well as the world's oldest basket.
The "Cave of Horrors" takes its name from the 40 skeletons found there during excavations in the 1960s. Researchers found the child's remains preserved naturally mummified in the dry atmosphere of the cave, which can only be accessed by climbing ropes.
A CT scan revealed that the child, who had skin, tendons, and even hair partially preserved, was aged was between 6 and 12 and is thought to have been a girl, according to Smithsonian Magazine.
Prehistorian Ronit Lupu of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said in a statement: "It was obvious that whoever buried the child had wrapped [them] up and pushed the edges of the cloth beneath [them], just as a parent covers [their] child in a blanket. A small bundle of cloth was clutched in the child's hands."
The skeleton was found along with ancient Dead Sea scrolls, which are among the earliest texts ever written in Hebrew.The newly discovered fragments of the 2000-year-old scrolls are Greek translations from the biblical books of Nahum and Zechariah, found in the Book of the 12 Minor Prophets in the Jewish Tanakh.
The world's oldest basket dating back to 10,000 years ago was also found, as well as arrowheads and coins thought to be from the Bar Kochba revolt period in other caves, The Guardian reported.
The authority commissioned the excavation back in 2017 following reports of plundering by looters, The Guardian noted.