Headless Skeletons Reveal Ancient Ritual

Headless Skeletons Reveal Ancient Ritual
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Three human skulls and a jawbone rest on the chest of a headless skeleton uncovered at an ancient burial site of Lapita people on the island of Éfaté in central Vanuatu.

Researchers led by Stuart Bedford of the NUA are trying to determine the relationship between the headless man and the grave's other four occupants.

Recent chemical analysis of teeth found in the grave revealed that the man was not born on Éfaté, suggesting that he may have been a pioneering colonist from another island who earned special reverence at his death.

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—Photograph courtesy Stuart Bedford/The National University of Australia
 
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