Mystery over 1000-year-old skull and jawbone found on Australian beach

Roshina Jowaheer

A 1000-year-old jawbone which was found on a beach in Sydney in September has been matched to a skull that washed up on the same beach in 2008.

It is believed to be the skull of a child of Asian or Pacific Islander origin, reports.

NSW Police Force said forensic examination had determined the jawbone located on Mona Vale Beach was human.

Police were called to the beach at around 10am on Sunday 14 September after a member of the public located the bone on a concrete path.

An expert forensic anthropologist said the skull belonged to a child, believed to be aged between three and five.

Radiocarbon dating determined that the skull is dated between 1220AD and 1400AD.

Northern Beaches crime manager Inspector Craig Wonders told Australia's Daily Telegraph that the skull found in 2008 was only in the water for a short time but the jawbone found this year had been in the water for a long time.

Dr Xanthe Mallett, anthropologist and senior lecturer in forensic criminology at the University of New England told the newspaper that the boned could have been part of a skeleton used by medical students, but there was no screw hole in the top of the skull from where it would have hung.

"It may have gone missing overboard from an early ship or, and this is completely hypothetical, the person who had the skeleton may have decided to give it the burial it never had and buried it on a beach where it was washed into the water," Dr Mallett added.

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