The top of a human skull was found, washed up on the Motueka sandspit this morning.
The bone was found by a man out walking, who reported it to the police around 9.50am.
A Department of Conservation archaeologist was called in and has confirmed the bone was human, saying it was part of the upper cranial bone from a small human, probably a child.
Representatives of local iwi were called in, as it was suspected the bone dated back possibly hundreds of years, with the coastline in the area known to be the location of a number of historic Maori settlements.
The bone is believed to be very old, as indicated by how weathered it was.
After a karakia the bone, having been put in a box, was reinterred in the sandspit area.