Taiwan finds 4,800-year-old fossil of mother cradling baby

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Archaeologists Find 4,800 Year Old Mother & Child Fossil

TAIPEI, April 26 (Reuters) - Archaeologists in Taiwan have found a 4,800-year-old human fossil of a mother holding an infant child in her arms, museum officials said on Tuesday.

The 48 sets of remains unearthed in graves in the Taichung area are the earliest trace of human activity found in central Taiwan. The most striking discovery among them was the skeleton of a young mother looking down at a child cradled in her arms.

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"When it was unearthed, all of the archaeologists and staff members were shocked. Why? Because the mother was looking down at the baby in her hands," said Chu Whei-lee, a curator in the Anthropology Department at Taiwan's National Museum of Natural Science.

The excavation of the site began in May 2014 and took a year to complete. Carbon dating was used to determine the ages of the fossils, which included five children.

See photos of the 4,800-year-old discovery:

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Taiwan finds 4,800-year-old fossil of mother cradling baby
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Taiwan finds 4,800-year-old fossil of mother cradling baby
A man cleans a fossil of a mother and baby in Taichung City, Taiwan, April 26, 2016 in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/via Reuters TV TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A view of a fossil of a mother and baby in Taichung City, Taiwan, April 26, 2016 in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/via Reuters TV
Chu Whei-Lee, a curator in the Anthropology Department at Taiwan's National Museum of Natural Science, stands next to a man cleaning a fossil of a mother and baby in Taichung City, Taiwan, April 26, 2016 in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/via Reuters TV
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