Guest blogger LisaJ over at PZ Myers blog Pharyngula wishes she were a paleontologist. I understand why. She has this to say:
Imagine you’re a paleontologist, digging through the Sahara desert looking for dinosaur bones and you stumble, instead, upon this wondrous find:
That’s exactly what happened to Paleontologist Paul Sereno and his team back in 2000, and they have announced their findings from their excavations of this region in Northern Niger in National Geographic this week. This team unexpectedly unearthed 200 human burials on the shores of a long dried up lake, representing two very distinct cultures spanning 5000 years (between 4500 to about 9000 years ago). The image shown above is of their ‘most striking discovery’, and depicts a woman and two children, ages 5 and 8, holding hands. They also found pollen in the grave, suggesting that they may have been laid on a bed of flowers.
What an evocative image that is. It is most likely a mother and her two children lovingly laid together hands clasped on a bed of flowers. The unknown tale behind this tragedy will never be revealed. My heart missed a beat when I first saw that image.