The oldest tsunami victim in the world

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It was in Papua New Guinea, which scientists have now discovered, sediments that indicate that the area where a 6,000-year-old skull fragment was discovered was hit by a tsunami.

It was six thousand years ago in Papua New Guinea that the oldest known human tsunami victim died. The discovery, published in the scientific journal PLOS One, was made after analyzing the area where, in 1929, they found a skull fragment that, to this day, remains one of the few human bones remains in the region.

The team of investigators compared sediment samples from the area where the skull was found, with sediments from another nearby region, which in 1998 had been hit by a tsunami. Thus, according to the study, sediments from the skull deposit had a composition very similar to that of the 1998 tsunami sediment. Chemical analysis and sediment size led to the belief that the skull actually belonged to a victim of another tsunami, thousands of years ago.

This skull is one of the oldest human remains in Papua New Guinea and was initially confused with a Homo Eretus, a species that died out about 140,000 years ago. Mark Golitko, one of the researchers in the study, said that the skull was found to belong to a Homo Sapiens after submitting the “deposits to a more reliable radiocarbon dating process”, which determined that the fragment was about 6000 years old. age.

This tsunami deposit is very close to Aitape, 12 km from the north coast. And according to Golitko”, at that time, sea levels were higher and the area would be near the coast”.

Another of the study’s authors, James Goff, further considered that “Aitape’s skull says a lot about the long-term exposure of human populations along the world’s coastlines and how such events in the past had undoubtedly had, fundamental effects on human migration”.

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