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Coordinates: 56°10′33″N 40°30′33″E / 56.17583°N 40.50917°E / 56.17583; 40.50917

Paleolithic burial of Sungir

Sungir is an Upper Paleolithic archaeological site in Russia, about 200 km east of Moscow. The site is approximately 28,000 to 30,000 years old and serves as a grave to an older man and two children. They were all adorned with elaborate grave goods that included ivory-beaded jewelry, clothing, and spears. The site is one of the earliest known ritual burials and evidence of the antiquity of human religious practices. It was discovered in 1955 and the site underwent excavations from 1957 to 1977. Most notably, Otto Bader excavated a Neanderthal femur that had been severed at the joints. The socket was filled with ocher-colored powder.

This is one of the oldest discovered records of modern Homo sapiens in Europe.


  • Nikolai Bader (ed.): Posdnepaleolitischeskoje posselenije Sungir, Nautschny Mir, Moscow; 272 pages.

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