Ancient Bones That Tell a Story of Compassion


In Vietnam, archaeologists say, a Stone Age community took care of a man who couldn’t take care of himself.

While it is a painful truism that brutality and violence are at least as old as humanity, so, it seems, is caring for the sick and disabled.

And some archaeologists are suggesting a closer, more systematic look at how prehistoric people — who may have left only their bones — treated illness, injury and incapacitation. Call it the archaeology of health care.

By JAMES GORMAN