The Sungir burial site in what is now Russia dates back to the Upper Paleolithic period (50,000-10,000 years ago). The burial site itself is approximately 30,000 years old, with a range of about 4,500 years from various carbon dating tests.
It contains the remains of hunters and foragers who were likely from the Gravettian culture, a people of origins unknown who seem to have spread throughout Europe in the Upper Paleolithic period.
The burial site is one of the most well preserved of the period, and two of the burials are of particular significance.
The first burial is that of an adult male buried with some 3,000 mammoth ivory beads, likely sown onto his fur clothes, and "around twenty pendants and twenty five mammoth ivory rings”(pg. 31, Scheidel).
The second significant burial was of two children, who together had 10,000 beads, as well as a "wide range of prestige items such as spears made of straightened mammoth tusk and various art objects.”
The significant amount of time it would have taken to create the beads, as well as the other objects found suggests these people were buried in a ceremonial burial and/or had a unique status among the group who inhabited the surrounding site.
The discovery suggests there could have been many more customs that weren't as well preserved by ceremonial burial, such as what significance the beads would have played in the cultures of Paleolithic peoples. Could they have been used in trade? Or did groups of hunters and foragers have used downtime after collecting food to create them on their own?