I just read this news that they found an ancient cemetery in the Sahara Desert. I saw the pic featured there and, well. You can guess. The idea appeared to me. I took the facts in the article, mixed them a bit and wrote this down.
It's a touching article, if you want to check it out. I read it on discovery. com, and it's called Ancient Saharan Cemetery Yields Lost History.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the article nor the research. According to Discovery. com, the finds are detailed in Thursday's edition of the journal PLoS One.
Besides, the real group of bones were left as they were, they didn't separate them for further studies. Good thing, too, as they had a lot other skeletons to take their info from!
She stood between the stainless steel tables on the lab deck, staring at the ancient bones laying there. She looked at the bigger skeleton, a female one, surprisingly tall—standing, that woman would have been taller than herself. That was some kind of miracle itself, considering radiocarbon tests had dated them as being about a thousand years older than the first pyramids of Egypt.
Then she looked at the smaller bones. Two children had been found laying next to the woman. The picture attached to the file showed her that the three sets of bones had been embracing each other. As if wishing to stay together, holding each other, for all eternity. Or as if the woman had been trying to protect her children even in the after-death.
She traced the radius of the child next to her. Hodgin's analysis reported that he'd found various types of polen on the bones, wich led to the conclusion they'd been laid to rest in a bed of flowers.
A bed of flowers in the middle of the Sahara desert.
She felt a shiver run down her spine, unable to stop herself from visualizing the lives they must have led in the Africa they'd known. A different time, a different world. They'd lived in a green Sahara during a time when seasonal monsoons provided the water needed to guarantee life. Naturally, people were drawn to it. There had been lakes, rivers, forests... and beds of flowers.
And now all that there was left of it was an endless sea of sand. And the bones laying in front of her.
"Bones! Where ar—Oh, there you are!" Booth used his card to be allowed to the deck, to then walk purposedly to where his partner stood. His rhythm seemed completely out of place to Brennan. "Bones, I have--"
His sudden silence told her he'd noticed the mood she was in. She knew she wouldn't be able to hide it from him; he always seemed to connect with her emotions whether she wanted him to or not. "These the bones Cam told me about?" he asked.
She handed him the file without looking at him. It didn't matter that he knew what she was feeling. She wasn't going to admit her moment of weakness. "Yes. It's a woman and two infants of the Kiffian Tribe. Ridges on the woman's femur show she had a very developed rectus femoris. That is a thigh muscle." They both exchanged a look as she translated that bit to him, but he didn't comment. "That suggests she had access to abundant protein resources and had an active and strenuous life."
"Ok." He said. It seemed to her he hadn't really listened to what she'd told him but that he had been watching her intently instead. "Where did you tell me they found these bones?", he added.
"I haven't told you where they found these bones. If you want to know, you can read the file."
He opened the file, but his attention was retained by the photograph. "Just tell me, Bones. Please."
"They were found in what once was a bed of flowers in the Sahara Desert."
"They are holding each other. You can see their hands still joined." They remained silent a couple of minutes. Then he let out a sigh. "I can see what happened. They were a family. They were traveling somewhere when she got sick. Then their children got sick, too. The husband tried to save them, taking care of them while they fevered. But he couldn't save them and they died. He left them taking care of each other on the flower bed 'cause he thought his family would have liked that place to spend eternity in."
She decided to ignore how deep his words had touched her. She steeled her voice. "Your hypothesis isn't based on evidence. It hasn't been proved yet if they share DNA or not. We still don't know the cause of death, either. And the husband theory is even less provable."
He closed the file and sigued again. Then he stepped closer to her as if he were going to give her the papers back. But he didn't hand them, seemingly comfortable with just invading her personal space. "There's more than Science to this pic. There's more than Science to the place they were found at. I'm sure you can feel that. I know you."
She held her breath. "I don't know what you're talking about."
He looked at her for a moment, making her feel as if he was looking right through her, directly to her soul. That's not scientifically possible, she thought.
Finally, after what felt like an hour to her, he took a step back while handing her the file. "I'll be waiting in your office 'till you're free to talk to me." He started walking away, "We have a new case."
She watched him until he reached her office. This time she knew what he really meant, and was thankful he'd decided to give her space. She wasn't ready to admit to someone else what she barely could admit to herself.
She turned to look at the bones on the tables again and took a deep breath. Maybe it was time to admit something to herself, even if it was a small thing. If not for her own sake, she felt she owed it to Booth. He'd seen she wasn't prepared to accept what was inside of her and had respected it. She thought that somehow, taking this little step towards accepting her emotions was being respectful to him.
She touched one of the woman's tibia and allowed herself to feel.
She didn't expect what she found. There, hidden deep inside, she found a wish. For the first time in her life she wished Science didn't require to break things into little pieces to get to know something. She wished that it wasn't her in Science's name breaking this family apart.
It was nice writing this story. It's a little bit angsty, but it fitted the flow of emotions that the article's photograph caused on me.
I'd love to read what you think of it.