Sunday, 17 August 2008

The "Stone Age Embrace"

Excavations at Gobero, Niger have uncovered the earliest recorded cemetery in what is now the Sahara desert1. Dating back to almost 8000 BCE the burials are excellently preserved and give a unique look at the people and their culture from a time when the desert was green with plant life and blue with open water.

But the most beautiful image is below the belt...

'Perhaps most incredible was the 2006 discovery the Stone Age Embrace—a Tenerian woman facing the remains of two young children, their arms posed and hands interlaced. Pollen remnants from underneath the skeletons shows the dead had been laid on a bed of flowers. "This is a landmark burial—there's nothing like it in prehistory," Sereno said.'
National Geographic 2008

via guestblogger LisaJ at Pharyngula.
1. Sereno PC, Garcea EAA, Jousse H, Stojanowski CM, Sali├Ęge J, et al. 'Lakeside Cemeteries in the Sahara: 5000 Years of Holocene Population and Environmental Change. PLoS ONE 3(8): e2995 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002995 2008

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