Ancient skull likely of first ever Tsunami victim recovered
Papua New Guinea : An ancient partial skull has been recovered from Papua New Guinea, it is believed to belong to the first ever Tsunami victim.
The 6000-year-old skull found in Papua New Guinea may have belonged to the oldest known victim of Tsunami, a new study finds.
The mysterious Aitape skull was discovered in 1929 by Australian geologist Paul Hossfeld, but its true identity remained a mystery until now. Earlier, the scientists believed that it a normal human skull of some African man but after years of research it has been found that the skull dates back to the mid-Holocene period, about 6,000 years ago.
“We don’t know exactly where Hossfeld found the skull, but I think we were within 100 meters of the original location based on his description. We were able to use modern scientific techniques to understand a little more about how this place formed and what we were actually looking at.” Mark Golitko who examined the Aitape skull and its whereabouts said in a statement.
With analysis of diatoms or small single-cell organisms within the sediments, researchers found out that there was a lot of water when the person died or lived.
“Diatoms make little silica shells around themselves and when they die, those sink to the bottom,” said Golitko. “So we put the sediment under a microscope and counted those diatoms and it more or less tells you about the temperature, salinity and how energetic the water was that they were living in.”
The analysis also suggests the presence of Tsunami at the time skull was buried. With observations of modern Tsunami, the researchers cannot find any other reason than Tsunami as the reason behind the death of the man.
“Tsunamis do not rip up the ground enough to remove already buried bodies and put them into suspension and transport them. Overwhelmingly, the dead you find were killed by the tsunami.” Co-researcher Ethan Cochrane, an archaeologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand said.