Ahead of its Time Reading Answers


Ahead of its Time Reading Answers

One October afternoon, a young New Zealander, Sam Tobin, called his dogs and went for a walk down to the nearby Ruamahanga River. Having been very high for days, the river had at last fallen, and Tobin was eager to see what changes the floods had brought. The family farm borders the river and a four-metre-high flood bank testifies to its natural tendency to flood.

Tobin stepped out onto a broad shoulder of river sand, where he noticed what he initially took to be a whitish rock, lit by the sun. Then, getting closer, he realised it was a bone. Such a thing was not uncommon in these parts-he had often come across bone fragments, or even whole skeletons, of cows and sheep. But as he scraped aside the stones he realised it was a human bone, something quite new in his experience. As he picked it up, he saw it was a skull, discoloured with age.

Tobin replaced the skull and hurried hime to tell his mother what the river had delivered to their doorstep. It would prove to be a spectacular find, setting in motion an investigation by some of the country’s most respected specialists, and ultimately challenging our most firmly held assertions about the human settlement of New Zealand.

The police were immediately called, but despite a thorough search could find nothing that might shed light on the identity of the Ruamahanga skull, or the circumstances of its sudden appearance. The skull was then taken north to be examined by forensic pathologist Dr Ferris, at Auckland Hospital. Despite being hampered by its damaged and incomplete condition- the jawbone and lower left portion of the cranium were missing- Dr Ferris determined that the skull was that of a female. He then consulted with a colleague, Dr Koelmeyer, who believed that the deterioration of the bone placed the time of death before living memory’ and, most significantly as it would turn out, the skull appeared to be European in origin.


Ahead of its Time Reading Answers

9. 296
10. RACE


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