The loving embrace of a mother and child has lasted 4,000 years, as Chinese archaeologists found when they discovered their interlocked skeletons.
The mother is believed to have been trying to protect her child during a powerful earthquake and flooding that hit and buried the town in Qinghai province, central China, about 2,000 BC.
Photographs of the skeletal remains show the mother looking up above as she kneels on the floor, with her arms around her young child as they brace for the hit.
Archaeologists say they believe her child was a boy.
Another pair of skeletons were also found locked in an embrace at the same site, this time lying down on the floor.
A number of other remains have also been discovered huddled together.
Experts believe the site was hit by an earthquake and flooding of the Yellow River, but are yet to understand the exact scale of the disaster.
However, the catastrophe is thought to have wiped out the entire settlement, leading to comparisons with Pompeii.
Although the site, known as Lajia is more than 2,000 years older than the ancient Roman city.
Another pair of skeletons found at the Chinese archaeological site also appears to be embracing each other.
The well-preserved remains show the deceased’s final moments before the devastating earthquake hit the village thousands of years ago.
The incredibly well-preserved site paints a tragic picture of people trying to their families in the midst of a terrifying earthquake.
The Lajia site is the largest disaster excavation site inChina at nearly 40,000 square feet and was first discovered in the early 2000s.
The skeletons are now on display at the Lajia Ruins Museum.