Why are so many old skeletons found in desert areas? Wouldn’t early man have stayed closer to water?



  1. 0 Votes

    First and most important of all, water sources change all the time. What is now a desert could have been the bottom of a massive lake as recent as 1000 years ago. Or a long gone river tributary could have flowed near the remains. The fossil of Toumai came from a man who lived on the edges of Lake Chad 7 million years ago; in what is now desert. This is nowhere near the current dimensions for Lake Chad. That is also the case in the area around Palm Springs where I have lived. There was a huge lake where Indians lived and fished called Lake Cahuilla. Now it is as dry and hot as you can imagine.

    The other point has to do with the lack of humidity. Fossils are simply preserved better under layers of hot sand than muddy rainy places. The desert is also the best place to harvest fossils. It is a lot more difficult in a forest teeming with vegetation or underneath suburban sprawl. Bones aren’t very well preserved in forests.

  2. 0 Votes

         Some societies also purposefully buried their dead away from human habitation. For example, the extremely well-preserved mummies found high in the Peruvian Andes were left there as sacrificies. In Egypt, pharaohs and nobles had themselves buried in the remote Valley of Kings to protect themselves (unsuccessfully, it turned out) from tomb robbers.


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