3000-year-old jewellery box in Fiji

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Wellington, Apr 22: Archaeologists in Fiji have found a 3000-year-old pot containing jewellery belonging to the region's original South Pacifican settlers. The web site stuff.co.nz quoted the team of archaeologists as saying that the Lapita people were the first to move across the Pacific, probably from the Bismarck Archipelago in what is now Papua New Guinea.

They were identified by their pottery style that has now been lost as the Lapita rapidly evolved into modern Polynesians, including New Zealand Maori. The discovery of the jewellery pot was made at a place called Bourewa on the southeastern coast of the Fijian island of Viti Levu. Fiji Museum's Sepeti Matararaba found the jewellery made of shells. "As Sepeti continued excavating, he found in the middle of these two rows an upturned pot," USP School of Geography's Professor Patrick Nunn told Fairfax Media. "Realizing the importance of this, he proceeded carefully and, when he eventually turned this upside-down pot over, he found it was filled with shell jewellery. Nine shell rings of different sizes, four shell bracelets, six straight units with drill-holes. Something like this has not been found before," Nunn said.

Another researcher also found a pot. Professor Nunn said when she got it out she was initially disappointed because it seemed to have no decoration on it.Then she turned it over.

She saw the most extraordinary find ever made in Fiji. Cut into it was the eyes and nose Lapita motif, made of very fine dots and all in-filled with lime.

"For the first time in about 3100 years, the eyes in that pot looked upon another pair of eyes. It was a most extraordinary find," Professor Nunn said.

ANI

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