Australian scientists have solved a 600-year-old murder mystery involving the death of an Aboriginal man, indicating that he was killed by a sharp-edged weapon.
The remains of the Aboriginal man named “Kaakutja” – about 1.7 metres tall and aged between 25 and 35 – were found preserved on the banks of the Darling River in New South Wales in Australia.
Researchers at Griffith University meticulously pieced together the final, fatal moments of Kaakutja’s life, using a state-of-the-art optical dating lab to help determine the man’s cause of death.
The investigation has unearthed evidence that indigenous communities were using deadly boomerangs and clubs, which could inflict damage like sharp metal weapons, said Michael Westaway, a senior research fellow at Griffith University.
Kaakutja, whose remains were excavated in late 2014, is only the second case of intact indigenous remains being found suffering from fatally inflicted injuries, ‘The Australian’ reported.
Researchers have determined that a wooden weapon known as a “lil-lil” may have been used to kill Kaakutja.
They conclude that the pattern of trauma on his skeletal remains indicates “that he was killed by a sharp-edged weapon”.
The positioning of Kaakutja’s remains indicated a proper burial and “did not represent the clandestine disposal of a murder victim,” researchers said.
However, forensic analysis of Kaakutja’s injuries unveiled “multiple skeletal traumas on the cranium, mandible and post crania”.