Between 2019 and 2021, the team unearthed a large number of relics and artifacts, including 51 skeletons, 10 of which were buried in slate coffins with coral funeral objects, Chiu said.
Some of the skeletons were interred in slate coffins with coral objects, as well as both finished and unfinished shell tools such as fishhooks, which makes the shell tool site the oldest in the Pacific region.
Chiu Hung-lin, an associate professor at National Tsing Hua University’s (NTHU) Institute of Anthropology, said the site also offered insights into the funeral customs of the people in those times, adding that anthropologists could also make new discoveries by studying the human remains found at the site.
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The skeletal remains and shell tools date back about 4,000 years, which means it is the oldest shell tool site found on any island in the Pacific region, He said, adding that it was also the largest.
Meanwhile, the discovery of an archaeological site on a commercial project has negatively affected the livelihood of the local residents, Chiu said, calling on authorities to find a balance between development and the preservation of cultural heritage sites.