Analysis of the skulls revealed that one belonged to a female who lived to be 25–40 years old. Another was an individual who died between the ages of 30–45. The sex and age of the third skeleton could not be determined.
The adult ages of the individuals did not surprise the researchers.
“People who survived the critical periods in life, like childhood, and in women, the period of giving birth, had the chance to become quite old,” Gresky explained. “The average age in the Neolithic is low because of high infant mortality.”
As for how the skulls would have been displayed, the remains provide intriguing clues.
“In one skull,” Gresky said, “we have evidence of a drilled hole, which is placed in a way that the skull would have looked straight when hung.”
Another skull “showed scattered remnants of ochre,” she continued, “but not in a way that would verify a painting. It is rather due to placement of the skull in, or next to, ochre.”