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A Stone Age mother with her child.
About 4,800 years ago, a young mother died Taiawn along the coast.
When archaeologists have unearthed during an excavation, they found that she was buried next to a stone house with a six-month-old baby in her arms. We do not know what killed the mother and her baby, but this kind of burial is very rare in the culture of these islands during the Stone Age.
This young mother embracing her child has surprised us more than anything else. I think it was buried under the house from their loved ones, even if further investigations will be needed to confirm this hypothesis.
They found the couple digging the Neolithic site of An-I, Taichung City, in 2014 and in 2015. The site, which appears to have been used for about 800 years, is located along the central part of Taiwan’s west coast, located today about 10 kilometers inland from the current coastline.
It is likely that at the time An-I was standing exactly on the sea: between the houses and the burial site about 200 shark teeth were found, suggesting that the sea was important for local people.
Although the discovery does not represent the oldest evidence of human presence in Taiwan, the site of An-I is believed to be the first example of the so-called Dabenkeng culture in this part of the island.
The Dabenkeng sites appear suddenly along the Taiwanese coast about 5,000 years ago, and archaeologists believe that these people have arrived by sea on the island instead of to have developed from the existing settlements. The Dabenkeng were the first farmers in Taiwan, and could be reached from the coastal areas of south and southwest China about 5,000 years ago.
This is the oldest Neolithic culture discovered so far on the island. From Taiwan, the Dabenkeng could then have spread through the Oceania and Southeast Asia, bringing in those areas their own culture and their own language. It is probably the most ancient ancestors of the Austronesian peoples living still in Taiwan and in the Pacific Islands. This discovery could help to decipher not only the lifestyle of Dabenkeng populations, but also their approach to death.
The team extracted DNA from the remains and sent it to be analyzed in the laboratory, and this should help researchers understand the relationship between Dabenkeng, aboriginal Taiwanese and Oceania civilization.
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