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Archaeology Find Redefines Fijian History Of First Peoples
ABCNews ^ | 8-26-2002

Posted on 08/25/2002 4:40:43 PM PDT by blam

Mon, Aug 26 2002 8:34 AM AEST

Archaeology find redefines Fijian history of first peoples

The discovery of a skeleton on a Fijian island has fuelled speculation that the first people to inhabit the archipelago arrived 3,000 years ago, 500 years earlier than previously thought.

Prominent South Pacific islands' geoscientist William Dickinson, from the University of Arizona, described the find as "the most important scientific discovery of its kind in Fiji for the past 30 years".

Discovered by 15 University of the South Pacific geography students at Moturiki Island, the two-metre skeleton is believed to be of Solomon Islands origin.

Samples from the skeleton will be sent to New Zealand for radiocarbon dating, with results that could prove the estimated age of the male as 3,000 years are expected by Christmas.

"This discovery is of fundamental importance because it informs Pacific islands people of their true history... where they came from, when this happened and who else in the region they are related to," excavation project leader, Professor Patrick Nunn, said.

Geography student find

First-year Solomon Islands geography student, Chris Suri, stumbled on the skeleton beneath 60 centimetres of undisturbed sand and slit clay.

"I was very excited and finding something is very good, I was at the right place at the right time, that's all," Mr Suri said.

Mr Suri named the skeleton "Mana", meaning "the truth" in his native dialect.

The students also found stone tools, shellfish and pottery shards featuring some of the most intricate designs typical of the Lapita people [the first settlers of the Pacific], around Mana.

"We believe that it represents a burial of Lapita age, between 1,000 BC and 800 BC we estimate," Professor Nunn said.

"If this is correct than it will be only the second Lapita-age skeleton ever discovered in the Pacific Islands," he said.

Lapita site find

The first Lapita site discovery occurred at Natanuku Village in Ra decades ago and established the Lapita people, natural seafarers sailing across uncharted waters in this region for thousands of years, reached the Fiji islands around 2,500 years ago.

From the surroundings and manufacturing stone slabs found at the Mana site, Professor Nunn said the belief was that his people lived at the site for about 400 years surviving on the bountiful untouched lagoon filled with a wide variety of seafood.

"Mana was buried east-west, his head lies in the west, his feet in the east - this is a common burial practice for ancient skeletons in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands," Professor Nunn said.

"His head was raised, resting on the upper part of the torso.

"At first we thought that the head had been detached from the body and placed there.

"Now we think that, like for many ancient burials in the Eastern Solomon Islands, Mana was buried wearing an elaborate headdress which is why his head could not lie flat with the rest of his body," he said.

Professor Nunn estimates the Lapita people who originally lived at Naitabale numbered around 20 to 30 people, which gradually increased to around 50 to 80; their homes between 80 to 100 metres apart.

The occupation of Naitabale by the group ended about 2,000 years ago.

Pottery designs

Their descendants continued to make pottery but the designs died out.

Designs on pottery shards mostly depicted faces indicating a probable widespread face-tattooing culture that were transferred to pots as reminders to relatives after death.

"Most designs are parts of faces, it is likely that these faces represented ancestors of the people who made them and that the pots decorated in this way became part of a quasi-religious cult," Professor Nunn said.

"In support of this, we noted that none of the intricately-decorated pottery we found was blackened as it would have been were it used for cooking... intricately-decorated pots were for ceremonial or cultural purposes.

"At the moment, we tentatively conclude that the oldest Lapita pottery found at Naitabale was probably imported from the Santa Cruz-Reef Islands area of eastern Solomon Islands about 1,250-1,000 BC.

"This makes it the oldest Lapita pottery found in Fiji, marking the first footprints in these islands," he said.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; fijian; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; maca; redefines
I will go searching for the article that calls him a Fijian GIANT, 6' 2" tall.
1 posted on 08/25/2002 4:40:43 PM PDT by blam
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To: RightWhale; farmfriend; JudyB1938; sawsalimb; ruoflaw
Mysterious Giant Human Remains Found In Fiji
2 posted on 08/25/2002 4:45:28 PM PDT by blam
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To: Restorer; genefromjersey; SubMareener; #3Fan; PoisedWoman; SauronOfMordor
Fiji Giant update.
3 posted on 08/25/2002 4:55:03 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I wonder if he has any obtainable DNA? That would be interesting to see if his descendants are still there. Like they did in Britain. Remember that one?
4 posted on 08/25/2002 5:17:15 PM PDT by JudyB1938
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To: JudyB1938; LostTribe
"I wonder if he has any obtainable DNA? That would be interesting to see if his descendants are still there. Like they did in Britain. Remember that one?"

Yup. I expect he'd be Ainu/Jomon. (Same stock as Kennewick Man, Spirit Cave Man and Buhl Woman) Just a guess.

5 posted on 08/25/2002 5:25:05 PM PDT by blam
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To: Carry_Okie
ping
6 posted on 08/25/2002 5:51:19 PM PDT by farmfriend
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To: blam
(The late) Dr. Barry Fell would be most interested:

America B.C.

7 posted on 08/25/2002 5:55:50 PM PDT by LostTribe
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To: blam
I'll just betcha they have some of K Man's DNA stored away someplace and will compare it to other finds. Unfortunately, if that's true, the public will never know the results.
8 posted on 08/25/2002 6:20:28 PM PDT by JudyB1938
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To: LostTribe
"(The late) Dr. Barry Fell would be most interested.

Yup. I have or have read most of his books.

Gloria Farley would be interested also.

9 posted on 08/25/2002 6:20:35 PM PDT by blam
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To: JudyB1938
"I'll just betcha they have some of K Man's DNA stored away someplace and will compare it to other finds. Unfortunately, if that's true, the public will never know the results."

They did a DNA analysis of Kennewick Man and declared the results inconclusive. (I suspect that they did not fit the expectations of certain groups. BTW, this case is still in court)

10 posted on 08/25/2002 6:25:08 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
>Gloria Farley would be interested also.

That's a new one for me. I printed it out for more careful reading...

11 posted on 08/25/2002 6:31:30 PM PDT by LostTribe
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To: JudyB1938
Kennewick Man DNA Tests
12 posted on 08/25/2002 6:34:17 PM PDT by blam
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To: JudyB1938
Bryan Sykes of Oxford, who did the DNA study for the Cheddar man, has already done a study of Polynesian DNA.
It would be interesting to see where this guy fits in or if he doesn't at all.
13 posted on 08/25/2002 6:45:18 PM PDT by lizma
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To: blam
Re: Kennewick Man DNA Tests link:

Sounds like they have prejudged the results before performing the test. If the DNA fits the A, B, C, or D category, case closed. If it doesn't, then the results are either inconclusive or just plain wrong.

In other words, heads the Indians win, tails European ancestors lose.

14 posted on 08/25/2002 6:53:02 PM PDT by StopGlobalWhining
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To: blam
Yep-DNA analysis would be very interesting. Please don't forget to ping me if you hear of any being done!
15 posted on 08/25/2002 7:00:30 PM PDT by sawsalimb
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To: blam
Sort of a sidebar,and maybe you can confirm this. I seem to recall that some of the earliest Inca remains had been blood typed,and-oddly enough-they were type A,which is supposedly a relatively rare type for Native Americans. Is my imagination running away with me,or have you seen something like this too?
16 posted on 08/25/2002 7:14:05 PM PDT by sawsalimb
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To: StopGlobalWhining
(There are no skeletons ever found in North America of Native Americans/American Indians that are older than 6,000 years old)

...snip...

Others like Kennewick Man

About seven skeletons the age of Kennewick man have been found in North America. All have proto-Caucasoid features (Caucasoid features so generic that they can not be traced to any definite Caucasian ethhnic group) , in varying degrees. None closely resembles modern Native Americans.

Several possible explanations for these finds have been put forward.

One is that the earliest immigrants to the Americas came from Europe, perhaps by walking from Norway to Newfoundland on the North Atlantic, which was frozen solid 16,000 years ago. Evidence for this theory comes from the Clovis spearpoints made in North America 11,000 years ago, which more closely resemble the stone tools of Europe than Asia.

Another possible explanation, supported by more recent studies, is that 9000 years ago, all Eurasians had some Caucasoid features. Recent examinations of a cast of Kennewick Man's skull point toward Ainu or Polynesian, rather than European, features.

...snip...

17 posted on 08/25/2002 7:17:41 PM PDT by blam
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To: lizma
Gotta be REAL careful about getting enthused about DNA tests. Some may be valid in a limited sense, but we had major threads here on FR last year pointing out the apparent extensive fraud in DNA studies which somehow always came out the way the sponsoring organzations wanted them to come out. They have all the credibility of "9 out of 10 dentists recommend..."
18 posted on 08/25/2002 7:37:11 PM PDT by LostTribe
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To: blam
One of Solomon's gold miners died on the way to Peru. :^)
19 posted on 09/03/2002 8:15:29 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: #3Fan
"One of Solomon's gold miners died on the way to Peru. :^)"

Perhaps. However, I always assumed that they came by way of the Atlantic and then up the Amazon...but, what do I know?

20 posted on 09/03/2002 8:34:42 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Perhaps. However, I always assumed that they came by way of the Atlantic and then up the Amazon...but, what do I know?

The bible speaks of Ezion Geber when a later Israeli king tried to duplicate Solomon's Ophir runs. It says the fleet was destroyed at the port of Ezion Geber before it could sail. I assume that's the same port Solomon took off from. That port opens to the Red Sea and therefore the Indian Ocean. It would have made a hell of a trade route. Arabia, India, Southeast Asia, the East Indies and then catch the trade winds and ocean currents to Peru.

I've thought about this and it seems to me that the best way to have done this if his gold mines were in Peru is to supply the men, mines and the smelters by way of the Pacific route. and immediately send the ships back after they've dropped off their supplies and men to do trade with the nations on the return trip. The men then camp in mining camps and smelting camps in Peru working and sending finished gold ingots down the Amazon to a port at the opening of the Amazon to the Atlantic. This gold is picked up by ships sailing from the Joppa (I believe) port on the Mediterranian by way of the Atlantic Ocean. This way you knock off 3000 miles of upstream voyage to supply the camps or to pick up the gold and the ships aren't tied up while the miners do their mining and smelting. And the Atlantic voyage seems shorter than the Pacific voyage so it's a quicker trip while the dangerous cargo of gold is on board.

I've seen some say that the ore was smelted on board the ships, but I can't imagine smelting ore on wooden ships.

21 posted on 09/03/2002 11:52:24 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: #3Fan
I believe 'things' like this have occurred for thousands of years.

People spread out all over the globe then we have a worldwide catastrophic event (see tree rings), people from everywhere are exiled all over the earth and all connections are lost and forgotten.
Then a few hundred or a thousand years later when humanity recovers from the disaster, a new wave of explorers begins again and rediscovers these exiled people.

The one thing that all explorers 'find' during their explorations, every where they go, are, more people. (Many of them with similar customs, legends and myths.)

22 posted on 09/04/2002 8:07:20 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Yes I think you're right. Even the languages are similar. The names found in the Amazon look like they came from Ancient Greece.
23 posted on 09/04/2002 10:50:49 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: blam

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24 posted on 06/14/2009 8:41:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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