This might be one of the breathtaking archeological discoveries made in the recent past: the almost 4,800-year-old fossil remains of a mother cradling her baby in a shared grave.
While excavating a prehistoric Taiwanese aboriginal mass-burial site discovered in Taichung, Taiwan, archeologists discovered the remains of a young mother and her child.
These archeological findings turned out to be the earliest signs of human activity found in central Taiwan. But what caught the attention of the archeologists was the remains of the mother and child.
“When it was unearthed, all of the archeologists and staff members were shocked,” Dr. Chu Whei-lee, curator and director of the Anthropology Department at Taiwan’s National Museum of Natural Science, told Reuters.
“Why? Because the mother was looking down at the baby in her hands.”
The mother was a young female estimated to be between 20 and 25 years of age, and 5 feet 2 inches (1.6 meters) tall. She cradled a baby in her left arm and was gazing down at it.
How they died and what happened then remains a mystery.
The burial site was discovered when test digging of the area was conducted by a property developer before construction began.
The excavation began in May 2014 and took a year to complete. Carbon-14 dating was used to determine the age of the findings, which included 4,000 ceramic fragments and 200 shark teeth. The area was probably near the shoreline back then.