6,000-year-old skull found in Taiwan confirms islanders’ legends

(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of researchers discovered a 6,000-year-old skull and femur in a cave in mountainous Taiwan.

This find could prove the existence of an ancient tribe that inhabited the island long before the Austronesian populations came to it.

Almost all the tribes inhabiting the island have legends about undersized people who lived on the island. Scientists believe that the legends have a real basis.

In Taiwan, legends are passed down from generation to generation about a tribe of short, dark-skinned people who once lived in the mountainous part of the island.

But so far there has been no physical evidence of their existence. In the course of the new work, the researchers found a skull and leg bones in the cave, which were dated to about 6,000 years ago.

By studying the DNA of the skull, the researchers showed that it was similar to that of the Negritos , who live in parts of present-day South Asia and the Philippines.

Examination of the bones showed that they belonged to a short woman. Her height was approximately 1.3 meters.

6000 year old skull found in Taiwan confirms islanders legends 2
The modern woman of the Aeta tribe belongs (Negrito)

The legend of the first people

The researchers suggest that their findings confirm the existence of ancient people in Taiwan, but do not explain what happened to them.

They may have disappeared even before the early Austronesian groups began to arrive on the island. Researchers note that there are references to small dark-skinned people in the 17th century in the chronicles of the Chinese Qing dynasty.

All but one of the 16 Austronesian groups living in Taiwan today have stories describing small, dark-skinned people who once lived in the mountains.

However, the researchers note that such stories vary between groups, with some believing that the first humans were their ancestors.

Others see them as former enemies. One group claims to have wiped out the last first humans 1,000 years ago.

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