A man has handed in a centuries-old Aboriginal skull found on an Adelaide building site in the 1970s after he “inherited” the remains from his father, SA Police have said.
- The skull was uncovered during the West Lakes development in the 1970s
- Forensic analysis confirmed it dates back to before European colonisation
- SA Police have committed to repatriating the remains
Police said the skull was found during the West Lakes development and was only recently handed over.
Some workers on the project reportedly took other remains as souvenirs, police said.
“[A] man recently ‘inherited’ the skull from his father and was unsure and uneasy about what to do with it,” police said in a statement.
Forensic examination has confirmed it is the skull of an Aboriginal woman who lived before European colonisation.
SA Police said it was working closely with its Community Constables and the SA Government to “ensure the repatriation of the remains to country”.
The commitment follows other repatriations of Aboriginal remains from across the world.
Last year, the remains of 11 Kaurna elders were returned to country after being held by the Natural History Museum in London.
Efforts are underway to help traditional owners repatriate the remains of more than 4,500 Aboriginal people from the collection held by the South Australian Museum.
Police have urged anyone who holds or comes across ancestral remains to treat them with respect and not disturb them before calling 131 444.
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