Skulls Found On Fisherman Island

The remains of skulls and old pottery were uncovered on a beach at the edge of Fisherman Island after a king tide washed up onshore revealing these interesting finds.

Fisherman Island, traditionally known as Daugo Island has a peaceful community with a population of 1000 people and is located to the Southwest of Port Moresby, approximately a 30-minute dinghy ride from the Koki Fish Market.

Six clan groups from Hula in the Central Province inhabit the island.

Joel Keimelo who works for the Tourism Promotion Authority and a resident of the island sent word of this “chance exposure” to the PNG National Museum.

The museum arranged for a reconnaissance trip to the island with UPNG archaeologists, Mathew Leavesley and Vincent Kewibu, and anthropologist Linus Digim’Rina and historian Keimelo Gima.

From observation, archaeologists were able to tell age distribution of the remains indicating that these were young and old people left on this site.

It is uncertain what this discovery entails, whether it was a burial site, a part of a ritual or just a convenient spot to place skeletal remains and skulls.

The research continues as the team of highly skilled professionals go out yet again on a quest to find out how best to preserve the remains with the understanding and consent of the villagers.

They plan to devise an interim conservation plan, and to consider the prospects of further archaeological excavations.

The team seeks to answer how they would be able to look after the remains and how this find can elucidate and re-animate interest in Papuan history.

These discussions underlie their interests and concerns. It is hoped that there is much more to be uncovered and shared after the teams excavation visit on 5 September. 

Carol Kidu