Friday, March 24, 2006

Survivor Pottery: Vanuatu History between the cracks

Ancient pottery from Vanuatu might shed light on the last great human migration, writes Deborah Smith.

TAKARONGA KUAUTONGA carefully examines the shape, colour and patterns on the ancient fragments of pottery. "It's like a big jigsaw puzzle," he says, as he patiently pieces them together.

The 3000-year-old pot he is reconstructing was unearthed, along with 25 headless human skeletons, at a burial site in Vanuatu - the oldest graveyard discovered so far in the South Pacific.

Apparently, the only connection being made is with Taiwan, but that is a couple thousand years earlier and it is only on the basis of pot burials. Still, the burials themselves (weird) are interesting.