Mystery of 1,000-year-old child's jawbone found on beach near Sydney

Work is underway to determine the origins of the child, who is not believed to be Aboriginal

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The Independent Online

The jawbone of a young child discovered on a beach in Australia has been matched to a 1,000-year-old skull which washed up on the same beach six years ago.

Work is underway to determine the origins of the child, who is not believed to be Aboriginal but is thought to have come from Asia or the Pacific Islands.

Initial radio carbon-dating of the skull, found on Mona Vale beach in 2008, suggested it dated from between 1200AD and 1400AD.

But scientists have now revealed it actually comes from around the year 1001, The Daily Telegraph Australia has reported.

The jawbone was found on the north Sydney beach on September 14 after it was spotted by a passer-by.

It was passed on to a forensic anthropologist by officers from the Northern Beaches Local Area Command, according to Daily Mail Australia.

Dr Xanthe Mallett, anthropologist and senior lecturer in forensic criminology at the University of New England, told The Daily Telegraph Australia the skull may have belonged to a private collection.

Dr Mallett said: "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."

In 2005, energy workers discovered the skeleton of an Aboriginal man dating back 3,700 years.

The skeleton, dubbed 'Narrabeen man', was found near a bus shelter on the northern beaches.

Studies suggested the man had died from a blow to the head and at least three spear wounds, The Sydney Morning Herald has reported.

The remains of Narrabeen man are the oldest found in the area of Sydney.