Papua New Guinea skull ‘world’s oldest tsunami victim’

via AFP-New Straits Times, 26 October 2017:

A 6,000-year-old skull found in Papua New Guinea is likely the world’s oldest-known tsunami victim, experts said Thursday after a new analysis of the area it was found in.

The partially preserved Aitape Skull was discovered in 1929 by Australian geologist Paul Hossfeld, 12 kilometres (seven miles) inland from the northern coast of the Pacific nation.

It was long thought to belong to Homo erectus (upright man), an extinct species thought to be an ancestor of the modern human that died out some 140,000 years ago.

But more recent radiocarbon dating estimated it was closer to 6,000 years old, making it a member of our own species – Homo sapiens. At that time, sea levels were higher and the area would have been near the coast.

An international team led by the University of New South Wales returned to the site to collect the same geological deposits observed by Hossfeld.

Source: Papua New Guinea skull ‘world’s oldest tsunami victim’ | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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