Australian researchers have unearthed the remains of a prehistoric hunter who may have lived in an island deep in the South Island, the first time such a find has been made in the area.
Researchers from the University of Otago and the University at Albany, New York, have unearthed a human skull, a fragment of bone and bone fragments from a bone spearhead at Oak Island, located on the Australian mainland about 1,100km (620 miles) north of Adelaide.
Oak Island is one of the most popular sites of archaeological interest in New Zealand and has been a popular tourist destination for thousands of years.
Oak island is one in a series of sites in the Australian Outback that are considered to be relics of ancient hunter-gatherer societies.
The discovery of the skull, bone and spearhead has opened up a new chapter in the research into the life of a hunter-gathering community on the island, which was inhabited by about a million people at the time of the first Europeans arriving in Australia in 1688.
A team of archaeologists, anthropologists and geneticists led by Professor Mark A. Smith from the School of Biological Sciences at the University, and Associate Professor Chris P. Lomax from the National Museum of New Zealand, used CT scans and radiocarbon dating to reveal the human remains were those of a 19th century man.
“This is the first known discovery of human remains from this region of the Outback,” Smith said.
“The team have made an extraordinary discovery.
Oak Island is a prime candidate for sites of ancient human occupation.
It has been associated with hunter- gatherers for a long time.”
The discovery has been described in the journal Science.
Smith and Lomac discovered the remains at the end of May in a dig on Oak Island about 200 metres (660 feet) below the sea level.
It was made by digging through a large mudflat, known as a butcher block, to get a small-scale model of the island.
“We didn’t find any human remains, but we did find some animal remains, including a spearhead,” Smith told ABC News.
The researchers then spent several weeks excavating the island site, finding human bones and the bone spearheads.
“It is a really exciting discovery,” Smith explained.
“This is something that has only been done in Australia.
We can now begin to tell how this human population lived.”
What we’re finding is that they probably lived in the same village on the same island, or maybe the same town on the mainland, but they may have moved into the area a lot more than previously thought.””
It’s a very important piece of the puzzle for the study of the evolution of human society.
“Smith and his colleagues also discovered that the remains had been excavated from the same site in a different location on the outback.”
That was very exciting,” he said.
The research team has not yet identified the individuals who lived on Oak island, but have identified the site as a village.
The scientists say that it was a hunter and gatherer community.”
These hunter-giants, these hunter-hunters were living in a community with a lot of people, and we think they had a very successful community. “
There was a big community of people on this island, and they were able with their knowledge of hunting and gathering techniques to form their own village, based on the knowledge they had of the surrounding area.”
These hunter-giants, these hunter-hunters were living in a community with a lot of people, and we think they had a very successful community.
“They were able, over a long period of time, to grow their food and to have a stable community.”
The team has also identified several archaeological features, including two circular structures called a butcher blocks and the remains found in the mudflat.
“They may have been connected to the hunting and harvesting activities, and then to the fishing and gathering activities,” Smith concluded.
“I think they were also very well-fed.”