Skip to comments.Sumatran Cave Yields Ancient Art And 66 Human Burials
Posted on 04/20/2013 8:03:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Among the finds is the first example of rock art in Sumatra and the discovery of 66 human burials dating back about 3000 years.
"Sixty-six is very strange," Prof Simanjuntak said, adding that they have never found such a big quantity of burials.
Intense human occupation
"It means that this cave was occupied intensely by humans and they continued to occupy it for a very, very long time," he said.
These findings shed new light on the complex cultural behaviours of Indonesia's first farming communities, who lived in the limestone caves of Harimau and used them as a burial place and a "workshop" for tool-making activities.
The researchers have recorded previously unknown cave paintings in Harimau a key discovery given the long standing belief that rock art traditions did not exist in prehistoric Sumatra. While the identity of the image makers is still in doubt, based on similarities between the ancient rock art and pottery decorations (i.e., chevron and fish bone motifs), the paintings may date to the Neolithic period.
With much of the cave still to be excavated, researchers are excited about the secrets they might hold.
"There are still occupation traces deeper and deeper in the cave, where we have not excavated yet. So it means the cave is very promising," Professor Simanjuntak said, adding that his archaeological team has uncovered evidence of a potentially far older history of occupation at Harimau Cave, which could open up new and intriguing avenues of research.
(Excerpt) Read more at pasthorizonspr.com ...
Professor Truman Simanjuntak holding an exact replica of an ancient stone hand axe excavated from East Java. Image: UOW
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