In 2008 a rare pot from Vanuatu was reconstructed in our lab and shipped back to the Cultural Centre in Port Vila. It ws excavated in 2006 at a burial site and is approximately 3000 years old. Here is a short video about the work.
In 2004 a surprise discovery was made while digging a fish farm in Teouma Vanuatu. Very rare pottery fragments were found leading to the discovery of an ancient cemetery. The pots had been used for burial by the Lapita culture who once lived in areas of the Pacific. The remains revealed their complex burial practices with one pot containing a skull and several other burials whose bones and skulls had been systematically rearranged in groups.
Here’s how one pot was reconstructed:
The Australian Museum has a three dimensional scanner which produces a 3D image of the pot. This image records the condition of the pot for future reference. The pot is then packed for transport. It is carefully measured and then foam is cut to fit closely around the pot. This will protect it from damage. As some foams become brittle and crumble as they age, the pot is wrapped in a material called Tyvec so that the pot doesn’t touch the foam. It is then packed into a solid crate for transport back to the Vanuatu Cultural Centre where it will be displayed.
Last Updated: 8 March 2010
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