Earliest case of Down syndrome diagnosed in French skeleton

A team of archaeologists at the University of Bordeaux has identified the earliest known case of Down syndrome in the remains of a child who lived in 6th century France. The diagnosis was made after the remains were submitted to a (CT) scan.

The child's remains were found in 1989 in a fifth- to sixth-century necropolis near the Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in northeastern France, and were not treated differently from other burials in the cemetery. "We interpret this as meaning that the child was maybe not stigmatized during life, the first time a Down syndrome individual has been so viewed in the context of the ancient community," the researchers write in their study.