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History of Cremation

The oldest known archaeological record of cremation is the remains of a body referred to as Mungo Lady. In 1969, geologist Jim Bowler discovered human remains in the Willandra Lakes region of Australia. Scientists estimate the bones could be anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 years old. Mungo Lady’s exact age remains a subject of intense debate. It is undisputed, however, that the bones show evidence of cremation. A pattern of burn marks on the bone fragments suggest that after the woman died, her body was burned, the bones were smashed, and then the remains were burned a second time as an early form of cremation.

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