Friday, December 14, 2007

Found: a real old man of the sea
IT WAS obvious he was special from the moment archaeologists began to unearth his 3000-year-old remains. Skulls from three other people - two men and a woman - and the jaw of a fourth person had been carefully laid to rest on top of his skeleton.

The old man was one of the mysterious Lapita people - crafters of exquisite pottery who made the last great human migration on Earth, heading out across the Pacific Ocean more than three millenniums {Grrrrrr. --Ed.] ago, to settle Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

His skull-filled grave is unique in an ancient cemetery on Efate, the main island of Vanuatu, where a team from Australia and Vanuatu has discovered more than 60 Lapita skeletons in a range of burial positions.

One assumes it is part of this cemetery.