Human bones found in an over 1,000-year-old cultural mound in Aimeliik, by archeologists from Kiel University in Germany. (photo credits: Min. Ngirai Tmetuchl of HRCT&D)

Fragments of human bones from five (5) individuals have been found inside a man-made mound on top of a man-made terrace in Aimeliik State known as Ouballang er Ngermeliik.  The terrace itself was estimated to be constructed nearly a thousand years ago.

Archeologists from Kiel University in Germany conducting a study of Palau’s terraces made the findings last week and will be showing their preliminary findings to the leadership of the Aimeliik State and the Palau government today.

Due to Palau’s highly acidic soil, it is very rare to find bones intact, especially after all of these years.

Ouballang er Ngermeliik (Ngermeliik terrace) is one part of a large complex of terraces in Aimeliik State, between Ngerkeai, Elechui, and Ngchemiangel hamlets.   

Terraces are modified landscapes that were altered by humans over 2,000 years ago and are monumental architectures. They are the only ones of their kind in the Pacific region.

The study conducted by the University of Kiel in Germany has excavated 10 terraces in different states of Palau.  The study is still ongoing.

So much is still to be revealed by the studies about the people that lived in Palau over 2,000 years ago, how and why they greatly altered the landscape around them as they did with the terraces.

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