They went looking for dinosaur bones, and found human skeletons instead. That’s what is being reported by National Geographic and the Los Angeles Times. A barren wasteland in the Sahara, covered with sand, has turned out to be a treasure trove of evidence of human occupation. The area appears to have been a lakeside paradise thousands of years ago.
The area of human habitation, with skeletons and artifacts indicating fishing and hunting, lies on top of Cretaceous strata known for dinosaur fossils. This Stone-Age site, which National Geographic called a “Green Sahara” and the Times called “Green Eden,” appears to have supported two different tribes of people at different times. 200 human burial sites were found. One of them showed the tenderness of family affection: “A woman, possibly a mother, and two children laid to rest holding hands, arms outstretched toward each other, on a bed of flowers.”
The area, named Gobero, was a spine-tingling discovery when first found in 2000. Paul Sereno (U of Chicago) and team just published their data in PLoS ONE after several seasons of excavation.1 The team classifies the human strata as Holocene and the underlying bedrock as Cretaceous. Still, it was surprising to find human bones when they were looking for dinosaur bones. “Sereno and colleagues have also made several dinosaur discoveries in the region, including the bizarre cow-like dino Nigersaurus and the bus-size SuperCroc,” National Geographic reported. Imagine Sereno’s surprise when he found human skeletons. “You’re not looking at [dinosaurs],” he said; “you’re looking at your own species.”
1. Sereno et al, “Lakeside Cemeteries in the Sahara: 5000 Years of Holocene Population and Environmental Change,” Public Library of Science ONE, 3(8): e2995 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002995.
This is an intriguing discovery. The team did not find a mixture of dinosaur bones and human bones in the same strata, but the close juxtaposition calls for explanation. Evolutionists would have us believe 65 million years separated the Cretaceous and Holocene deposits. The strata are classified, and their ages are inferred, however, by the bones they contain, and their presumed position in the evolutionary story. Where are all the intervening epochs between the two deposits?
These deposits could be fit into a Biblical context. For one thing, notice that no one is claiming the human remains are tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years old. Given uncertainty, they fit within the post-Flood world. The dinosaur-containing strata may have been Flood deposits. As people separated in the decades and centuries after the Flood (especially after the Tower of Babel), a people group found this rich area of greenery, lakes, fish and wildlife – the next best thing after Eden. (If any post-Flood dinosaurs were around, the humans could have killed them off as a nuisance.)
Centuries of successful human habitation could have taken place here before the Egyptian civilization began. After the Flood, many large lakes remained inland. They eventually dried up, forcing the inhabitants who left these burial plots and artifacts to look for greener pastures. The researchers believe a thousand-year period of dry conditions intervened between the two populations who came here.
This is a discovery that deserves watching. The paper says, “We are just beginning to understand the anatomical and cultural diversity that existed within the Sahara during the Holocene.” There appears to be nothing here that rules out a Biblical post-Flood scenario, and a number of things that suggest it. The dinosaur fossils are in good condition. Can the 65-million-year hiatus between the adjacent strata really be supported? Let’s watch for more surprised looks on the faces of the scientists, and not take their Darwin-drenched dating assumptions for granted.