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Fiji University Unveils Face of Ancient Fiji Woman

Pacific islanders in Fiji's capital, Suva, have been given their first realistic glimpse of how one of their ancestors might have looked.

Scientists from the University of the South Pacific Thursday unveiled the reconstructed face of a woman who lived on the island 3,000 years ago.

Researchers say the woman's features are similar to those of the Lapita people, who moved down through Southeast Asia and Melanesia thousands of years ago.

The face was reconstructed by researchers in Japan from a well-preserved skeleton found in the tiny settlement of Naitabale, on the island of Moturiki, just east of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu, in 2002.

Scientists say the ancient woman, whom they named Mana, was about 164 centimeters tall, with the skeletal structure of someone with strong, well-developed muscles.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.