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Mystery of the placenta pots.

A scientist at the University of Tubingen has found traces of human placenta in pottery vessels buried in the cellars of houses in southwest Germany. The pots, all dating from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries A.D., were uncovered during a series of excavations undertaken in the 1980s in towns in Baden-Wurttemberg. In some cases, up to 40 or even 50 pots were buried in a single cellar, usually grouped in corners or along the walls.

Local folklore suggests that these pots may have been used to bury the human placenta to ensure the healthy growth of a child.... In Wurttemberg burial of the placenta in cellars was still common at the turn of the century, and a least one family continued the practice into the 1960s.

--Excerpted from an article by Paul Bahn from Archaeology Magazine, May/June 1991, pp. 18-19.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
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Title Annotation:human placenta in pottery vessels buried in cellars in southwest Germany
Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Sep 22, 1991
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