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

The 5,000-year-old remains of a mother holding a child are discovered in Taiwan, representing the earliest trace of human activity in the country.

TAIPEI (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 (April 26).

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.

"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 Mr 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.