Archaeology: Aborigine artefacts go home

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Rare aborigine jewellery, which has been in the collection of a British museum for almost 100 years, was yesterday handed back to members of the aboriginal community.

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter returned a 19th century necklace and bracelet to members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre after three years of talks. The necklace and bracelet, made from iridescent shells, were said to have been worn by a female elder called Truganini who died in 1876 and who was thought to be the last full-blooded Tasmanian aborigine.

The move to return the bracelet and necklace to the Tasmanian aborigines, who have very few surviving artefacts of their culture, began when they were spotted by an Australian during a visit to the museum.

The jewellery will be displayed in a new centre on land handed back to the aborigines two years ago.

- Louise Jury