SYDNEY, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The 6,000-year-old human skull discovered in Papua New Guinea in 1929 was most likely that of someone who died in a catastrophic tsunami, a latest Australian-led geological analysis has found.
The Aitape skull was unearthed in a former coastal lagoon flooded by a tsunami, similar to the 1998 one that hit a nearby area killing more than 2,000 people, according to a media release from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) on Thursday.
The victim of the disaster six millennia ago "is probably the oldest known tsunami victim in the world," UNSW quoted its scientist and the study's first author, Honorary Professor James Goff, as saying.
The international team behind the study, which was published in scientific journal PLoS One, included members from the University of Notre Dame in the United States, the University of Auckland and the University of Papua New Guinea.
"While the bones had been well studied, little attention had previously been paid to the sediments where they were unearthed," said Prof. Goff.
"The geological similarities between these sediments and the sediments laid down during the 1998 tsunami made us realize that human populations in this area have been affected by these massive inundations for thousands of years."