The 4,800-year-old embrace offers a glimpse into the lives and deaths of one of the earliest farming cultures to live in Taiwan.
Around 4,800 years ago, a young mother died near the Taiwanese coast. When she was lifted from her grave as part of a scientific excavation, archaeologists discovered that she had been buried with a six-month-old infant tucked into her arms. Interred near a stone dwelling, it appeared the pair had been sent into the hereafter in a loving embrace.
No one knows what killed the mother and child, but it is rare to find this kind of joint burial among the island’s Stone Age cultures.
“The young mother holding the baby surprised us most,” says Chu Whei-Lee of Taiwan’s National Museum of Science. “I guess they were buried under the house by their loved ones,” he adds, although more evidence is needed to support that idea.
Sharks and Farms
Chu and his collaborators uncovered the pair during work at a Neolithic site in Taichung City called An-ho in 2014 and 2015. The site, which appears to have been in use for at least 800 years, is located along the central part of Taiwan’s west coast and today is about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) inland.
Read more: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/160506-stone-age-mothers-day-fossils- taiwan/