#AceHistoryNews – Dec.29: Scientists and explorers have long tried to understand how Polynesia came to be settled; the shape and contour of one ancient skull may provide a clue
Evidence from an ancient graveyard has begun to illuminate one of the great mysteries of the human journey: the peopling of the Pacific. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that the shape and contours of the earliest skull in a 3,000-year-old burial ground in Vanuatu, a group of islands once known as the New Hebrides,suggests a starting point for the great Polynesian migration.
This enduring question was directly framed by Captain Cook, the great 18th century navigator, on his third voyage, when he stopped at the Hawaiian islands. He wrote in his journal: “How shall we account for this Nation spreading itself so far over this Vast ocean?
We find them from New Zealand to the South, to these islands to the North, and from Easter Island to the Hebrides.”