ArticlePDF Available

Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia

Authors:

Abstract

Archaeologists have long been puzzled by the appearance in Europe ∼40-35 thousand years (kyr) ago of a rich corpus of sophisticated artworks, including parietal art (that is, paintings, drawings and engravings on immobile rock surfaces) and portable art (for example, carved figurines), and the absence or scarcity of equivalent, well-dated evidence elsewhere, especially along early human migration routes in South Asia and the Far East, including Wallacea and Australia, where modern humans (Homo sapiens) were established by 50 kyr ago. Here, using uranium-series dating of coralloid speleothems directly associated with 12 human hand stencils and two figurative animal depictions from seven cave sites in the Maros karsts of Sulawesi, we show that rock art traditions on this Indonesian island are at least compatible in age with the oldest European art. The earliest dated image from Maros, with a minimum age of 39.9 kyr, is now the oldest known hand stencil in the world. In addition, a painting of a babirusa ('pig-deer') made at least 35.4 kyr ago is among the earliest dated figurative depictions worldwide, if not the earliest one. Among the implications, it can now be demonstrated that humans were producing rock art by ∼40 kyr ago at opposite ends of the Pleistocene Eurasian world.
1
Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia
Authors: M. Aubert1,2†*, A. Brumm3,4*, M. Ramli5, T. Sutikna6,7, E. W. Saptomo7, B. Hakim8, M. J.
Morwood#, G. D. van den Bergh6, L. Kinsley9, A. Dosseto2,10
Affiliations:
1Place, Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit (PERAHU), Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia.
E-mail: m.aubert@griffith.edu.au
2Wollongong Isotope Geochronology Laboratory, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.
3Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia.
4School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.
5Balai Pelestarian Peninggalan Purbakala, Makassar 90111, Indonesia.
6Centre for Archaeological Science, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.
7National Centre for Archaeology (ARKENAS), Jakarta 12001, Indonesia.
8Balai Arkeologi Makassar, Makassar 90242, Indonesia.
9Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.
10GeoQuEST Research Centre, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.
*These authors contributed equally
#Deceased
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Archaeologists have long been puzzled by the appearance in Europe ~40 to 35 thousand years
(kyr) ago of a rich corpus of sophisticated artworks, including parietal art (i.e., paintings,
drawings and engravings on immobile rock surfaces)1,2 and portable art (e.g., carved
figurines)3,4, and the absence or scarcity of equivalent, well-dated evidence elsewhere,
especially along early human migration routes in South Asia and the Far East, including
Wallacea and Australia5-8, where modern humans (Homo sapiens) were established by 50 kyr
ago9,10. Here, using uranium-series dating of coralloid speleothems directly associated with 12
hand stencils and two figurative animal depictions from seven cave sites in the Maros karsts
of Sulawesi, we show that rock art traditions on this Indonesian island are at least compatible
in age with the oldest European art11. The earliest dated image from Maros, with a minimum
age of 39.9 kyr, now represents the oldest known hand stencil in the world. In addition, a
painting of a babirusa (‘pig-deer’) made at least 35.4 kyr ago is amongst the earliest dated
figurative depictions worldwide, if not the earliest one. Among the implications, it can now be
2
demonstrated that humans were producing rock art by ~40 kyr ago at opposite ends of the
Pleistocene Eurasian world.
Sulawesi is the world’s eleventh largest island and the biggest and probably oldest in Wallacea, the
zone of oceanic islands between continental Asia and Australia. The Eocene to middle Miocene
limestones of the Maros and Pangkep regions lie between 4°7´S and 5°1´S and cover an area of
~450 km2 parallel to the west coast of the island’s southwestern peninsula12 (Fig. 1). Rivers draining
the volcanic highlands to the east cut down into the basal limestone, forming clusters of plateau-like
karst towers that rise abruptly from the surrounding alluvial plains12. Extensive networks of
footcaves formed around the tower bases and now harbor abundant evidence of prehistoric human
occupation13. Cemented breccia banks containing archaeological material occur on the rear walls of
many caves and rockshelters14,15, and at least 90 rock art sites are recorded. While multiple cave and
shelter sites have been excavated since the 1930s16, only two with Pleistocene sequences, Leang
Burung 2 (ref. 13) and Leang Sakapao 1 (ref. 17), are thus far reported (Fig. 1). The oldest, Leang
Burung 2, a cliff-foot shelter with a minimum age for the excavated deposits of 31,260 ± 320
radiocarbon years BP (35,248 ± 420 calendar years BP)13, previously provided the earliest dated
evidence for humans on Sulawesi. The Pleistocene deposits from both sites yielded evidence of
pigment use in the form of facetted haematite nodules13 and ochre-smeared stone tools17.
The Maros-Pangkep rock art was first recorded in the 1950s15 and has been extensively
studied by Indonesian researchers, although few detailed reports are published. On the basis of
superimposition, two broad periods of prehistoric art production are defined18. The earliest of these
is characterized by human hand stencils (made by spraying wet pigment around hands pressed
against rock surfaces) and, less commonly, large naturalistic paintings of endemic Sulawesi land
mammals, including the dwarfed bovid anoa (Anoa sp.), Celebes warty pig (Sus celebensis) and the
‘pig-deer’ babirusa (Babyrousa sp.). These wild animal species are most commonly depicted in
profile as irregularly infilled outlines18.
The later rock art phase in the Maros-Pangkep karsts lacks images of this nature. It is instead
typified by small depictions of zoomorphs (including dogs and other domesticated species),
anthropomorphs, and a wide range of geometric signs, most commonly drawn onto rock surfaces
using black pigment (possibly charcoal)18. This art can plausibly be attributed to early Austronesian
immigrants on the basis of stylistic elements19, and is thus a few thousand years old at most20.
The red- and mulberry-coloured motifs of the earlier phase typically occur on high roofs,
elevated parts of rock walls or other difficult-to-access areas in caves and shelters18. They are
located both close to site entrances and within deep, dark chambers and passages. In most cases the
art is poorly preserved, surviving only as weathered patches of pigment on exfoliated rock surfaces.
3
At some sites, better-preserved art is partly or almost completely obscured by dense clusters of
small coralloid speleothems (‘cave popcorn’) up to ~10 mm thick, which form when thin films of
water precipitate on rock surfaces21. At one Maros cave site, Leang Bulu Bettue (Fig. 1), we
observed Austronesian style drawings on a ‘fresh’ limestone ceiling formed by shedding of an
earlier surface containing faded hand stencils (Extended Data Fig. 1), suggesting that even in recent
prehistoric times this art was in an advanced state of deterioration. However, local custodians report
that the loss of the art has accelerated in recent decades.
To determine the age of the earliest rock art in the Maros karsts we undertook an extensive
program of uranium-series dating of coralloid speleothems directly associated with the motifs. The
sampled materials all comprise static coralloids that formed directly on top of clearly discernable
motifs, offering the possibility to obtain minimum ages for the underlying rock art. In some cases,
hand stencils and paintings were made over coralloids that then continued to grow, providing an
opportunity to obtain both minimum and maximum ages for the art.
We collected a total of 19 coralloid samples associated with 14 individual motifs (12 hand
stencils and two figurative animal depictions) (Figs. 2-3 and Extended Data Figs. 2-9) at seven cave
sites in the Maros karsts (Fig. 1). Six of these sites are located within a ~1 km radius in the
Bantimurung region, close to Leang Burung 2. Four of the Bantimurung sites (Gua Jing, Leang
Barugayya 1 and 2, and Leang Timpuseng) are situated in a large limestone outlier roughly 2 km in
diameter and 180 m high12. Leang Sampeang is located in an elevated niche on tall limestone cliffs
~500 m east of the outlier, while Leang Lompoa occurs at the base of an adjacent karst inselberg.
The seventh cave site, Leang Jarie, is in the Simbang district southeast of Bantimurung (Fig. 1).
To provide an internal check of the microstratigraphic order of ages we took a minimum of
three (and up to six) aliquots from every sample (except for Samples Leang Jarie 1 and 2 [2012]),
one from under the pigment layer, and two or more from above it, giving a total of 55 uranium-
series age determinations (Supplementary Information). In addition, at Leang Jarie (Fig. 3), Leang
Barugayya 2 (Extended Data Fig. 6) and Leang Sampeang (Extended Data Fig. 9) we dated two
coralloids that had formed over the same motif. At Leang Lompoa (Extended Data Fig. 3) and
Leang Jarie (Extended Data Fig. 2) we also dated two samples taken from different parts of the
same coralloid. Dating results for these five sets of paired samples are internally consistent
(Supplementary Information), demonstrating the robustness of the ages for the associated motifs.
Minimum ages for the Maros rock art motifs (n = 14) span the time range between 39.9 and
17.4 kyr ago, with the majority dating to more than 25 kyr ago (Table 1 and Supplementary
Information). The oldest dated motif is a hand stencil from Leang Timpuseng, which has a
minimum age of 39.9 kyr (Fig. 2), and now represents the earliest evidence for humans on Sulawesi,
as well as the oldest known example of this widespread art form. This motif is located on a 4-m-
4
high ceiling next to a large irregularly infilled painting of a female babirusa, which has a minimum
age of 35.4 kyr (Fig. 2). At nearby Leang Barugayya 2, a large painting of an indeterminate animal
(probably a pig) has a minimum age of 35.7 kyr (Extended Data Fig. 6). The next oldest motif in
our assemblage is another hand stencil at Leang Jarie, which dates to at least 39.4 kyr ago (Fig. 3).
With the Leang Timpuseng hand stencil, and for many other motifs in our sample,
subsamples taken from below the pigment layer were more than 100 kyr in age (Supplementary
Information). These early dates represent calcium carbonate deposits (flowstone layers) present on
the rock face before the art was produced. At Gua Jing, we dated two distinct hand stencils, one of
which yielded minimum and maximum ages of 22.9 and 27.2 kyr, respectively (Extended Data Fig.
8). Thus, given that the Leang Timpuseng hand stencil has a minimum age of 39.9 kyr, we can infer
the existence in the Maros karsts of an artistic culture with a duration of at least ~13 kyr.
The discovery of rock art dating back at least 40 kyr ago on Sulawesi has important
implications for our understanding of the time-depth of early symbolic traditions in the region,
about which little is presently known. For instance, rock art complexes focused on hand stencils and
large animal paintings occur in the Bone karsts ~35 km east of Maros (Fig. 1), as well as west of
Sulawesi in Kalimantan (Borneo)22,23 and further afield in mainland Southeast Asia24. The northern
Australian rock art provinces of Arnhem Land25 and the Kimberley26 also display early art phases
(based on order of superimposition) characterized by hand stencils and large irregularly infilled
paintings of animals, including apparent images of extinct megafauna25,26, that are markedly similar
in style to the Maros art. Given that the deepest excavated deposits in northern Australia (dated to
~50-40 kyr ago) contain use-worn haematite crayons and other evidence of ochre processing and
use9,10,27, it is possible that an extensive archive of rock art may yet survive from the initial modern
human colonization of Australia and Southeast Asia.
There are also implications for the debate about the origins of Palaeolithic rock art per se,
which is invariably dominated by European data and for which there are two widely debated
models11,28. The first of these is that rock art originated in Europe and developed gradually over
thousands of years, beginning with abstract, nonfigurative imagery (e.g., geometric patterns) and
culminating in sophisticated naturalistic representations of animals, such as those in Altamira and
Lascaux dated to ~20 kyr ago11,28,29 and other late Upper Palaeolithic cave sites in western Europe.
This long-standing notion is given new impetus by recent uranium-series dating of rock art motifs
from 11 caves in northern Spain, which suggests that Europe’s earliest cave art was nonfigurative in
nature and that animal paintings do not appear until considerably later11,28. Currently, the oldest
dated rock art motif in Europe (and the world) is from El Castillo, where a single thin calcite
deposit overlying a red ‘disk’ yielded a minimum uranium-series age of 40.8 kyr11. The alternative
model is that cave art first appeared in Europe in fully developed form, as implied by the great
5
antiquity of the elaborate animal paintings from Chauvet Cave in southern France29. Although the
early chronology for this art is disputed30, the oldest animal image from Chauvet Cave is attributed
an age of 32,410 ± 720 radiocarbon years BP (~35,000 calendar years BP) on the basis of 14C-
dating of charcoal pigment29.
Our dating results from Sulawesi suggest that figurative art was already part of the cultural
repertoire of the first modern human populations to reach this region more than 40 kyr ago. It is
possible that rock art emerged independently at around the same time and at approximately both
ends of the spatial distribution of early modern humans. An alternative scenario, however, is that
cave painting was widely practiced by the first H. sapiens to leave Africa tens of thousands of years
earlier, and thus that naturalistic animal art from Leang Timpuseng and Leang Barugayya 2, as well
as Chauvet Cave in France, may well have much deeper origins outside both western Europe and
Sulawesi. If so, we may anticipate future discoveries of depictions of human hands, figurative art,
and other forms of image-making dating to the earliest period of the global dispersal of our species.
6
References
1. Lewis-Williams, D. J. The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins Of Art (Thames &
Hudson, 2002).
2. White, R. et al. Context and dating of Aurignacian vulvar representations from Abri Castanet,
France. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109, 84508455 (2012).
3. Conard, N. J. Palaeolithic ivory sculptures from southwestern Germany and the origins of
figurative art. Nature 426, 830832 (2003).
4. Dowson, T. A. & Porr, M. in The Archaeology of Shamanism (ed Price, N.) 165177 (Routledge,
2001).
5. Aubert, M. A review of rock art dating in the Kimberley, Western Australia. J. Arch. Sci. 39,
573577 (2012).
6. Brumm, A. & Moore, M. W. Symbolic revolutions and the Australian archaeological record.
Cambridge Archaeol. J. 15, 157175 (2005).
7. Langley, M. C., Clarkson, C. & Ulm, S. From small holes to grand narratives: the impact of
taphonomy and sample size on the modernity debate in Australia and New Guinea. J. Hum. Evol.
61, 197208 (2011).
8. Mellars, P. Going east: new genetic and archaeological perspectives on the modern human
colonization of Eurasia. Science 313, 796800 (2006).
7
9. Roberts, R. G., Jones, R. & Smith, M. Thermoluminescence dating of a 50,000-year-old human
occupation site in northern Australia. Nature 345, 153156 (1990).
10. Roberts, R. G. et al. The human colonisation of Australia: optical dates of 53,000 and 60,000
years bracket human arrival at Deaf Adder Gorge, Northern Territory. Quatern. Sci. Rev. 13,
575583 (1994).
11. Pike, A. W. G. et al. U-series dating of Paleolithic art in 11 caves in Spain. Science 336,
14091413 (2012).
12. McDonald, R. C. Limestone morphology in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Zeitschrift fur
Geomorphologie, suppl Bd. 26, 7991 (1976).
13. Glover, I. C. Leang Burung 2: an Upper Palaeolithic rock shelter in south Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Mod. Quat. Re. S.E. Asia, 6, 138 (1981).
14. Glover, I. C. The effects of sink action on archaeological deposits in caves: an Indonesian
example. World Archaeol. 10, 302317 (1979).
15. van Heekeren, H. R. Rock-paintings and other prehistoric discoveries near Maros (South West
Celebes). Laporan Tahunan Dinas Purbakala 1950, 2235 (1952).
16. Bulbeck, D., Pasqua, M. & Di Lello, A. Culture history of the Toalean of South Sulawesi,
Indonesia. Asian Perspec. 39, 71108 (2000).
8
17. Bulbeck, D., Sumantri, I. & Hiscock, P. Leang Sakapao 1, a second dated Pleistocene site from
South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Mod. Quat. Re. S.E. Asia, 18, 111128 (2004).
18. Eriawati, Y. Lukisan di Gua-Gua Karst Maros-Pangkep, Sulawesi Selatan: Gambaran
Penghuni dan Matapencahariannya (Indonesian Ministry of Cultural Media Development, 2003).
19. O’Connor, S. Nine new painted rock art sites from East Timor in the context of the Western
Pacific region. Asian Perspect. 42, 96128 (2003).
20. Simanjuntak, T. Austronesian in Sulawesi (Center for Prehistoric and Austronesian Studies,
2008).
21. Hill, C. A. & Forti, P. Cave Minerals of the World (National Speleological Society, 1997).
22. Fage, L. H. & Chazine, J. M. Bornéo la Mémoire des Grottes (Fage éditions, 2009).
23. Plagnes, V. et al. Cross dating (Th/U-14C) of calcite covering prehistoric paintings in Borneo.
Quat. Res. 60, 172179 (2003).
24. Taçon, P. S. C. & Tan, N. H. in Rock Art News of the World 4 (eds Bahn, P., Franklin, N. &
Strecker, M.) 207214 (Oxbow Books, 2012).
25. Chaloupka, G. Journey in Time, the World’s Longest Continuing Art Tradition: The 50,000-
year Story of the Australian Aboriginal Rock Art of Arnhem Land (Reed, 1993).
9
26. Morwood, M. J. Visions from the Past: The Archaeology of Australian Aboriginal Art (Allen &
Unwin, 2002).
27. David, B. et al. How old are Australia's pictographs? A review of rock art dating. J. Arch. Sci.
40, 310 (2013).
28. García-Diez, M. et al. Uranium series dating reveals a long sequence of rock art at Altamira
Cave (Santillana del Mar, Cantabria). J. Arch. Sci. 40, 40984106 (2013).
29. Valladas, H. et al. Bilan des datations carbone 14 effectuées sur des charbons de bois de la
grotte Chauvet. Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française 102, 109113 (2005).
30. Combier, J. & Jouve, G. Nouvelles recherches sur l’identité culturelle et stylistique de la grotte
Chauvet et sur sa datation par la méthode du 14C. L’anthropologie (2014). Pre-print at
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anthro.2013.12.001
Acknowledgements This research was supported by grants from the Australian Research Council
to M.A. (DP110102898/DE140100254) and A.B. (DP0879624/DE130101560) and the Centre for
Archaeological Science (CAS), University of Wollongong (UOW). The fieldwork was authorized
by the director of the Makassar Heritage Department (B.P.P.P.), M. Said, and the director of the
National Centre for Archaeology in Jakarta (ARKENAS), B. Sulistyanto. We further acknowledge
Balai Arkeologi Makassar, the Indonesian State Ministry of Research and Technology, and the
Geological Survey Institute in Bandung, for facilitating the research. We thank UOW’s Deputy
Vice Chancellor (Research), J. Raper, for additional project support. Field assistants included M.
Andi Pampang and A. A. Oktaviana. Technical laboratory assistance involved G. Mortimer, H.
10
Price, L. Sweetman and L. Yu., while C. Owers provided map data. P. Taçon and M.W. Moore are
thanked for critical feedback on the manuscript.
Author Contributions A.B. and T.S. conceived the study with M.A., as part of a wider project led
by M.R., E.W.S. and B.H., in collaboration with A.B., M.J.M. and G. v.d. B.. M.A. and A.B.
identified the samples. M.A collected the samples and conducted the uranium-series dating with
A.D.. M.A. and A.B. wrote the manuscript.
Methods Summary A small segment (~100-200 mm2) of each coralloid was removed from the
rock art panels using a battery operated rotary tool equipped with a diamond saw blade. Each
coralloid sample was sawn in situ so as to produce a continuous microstratigraphic profile
extending from the outer surface of the coralloid through the pigment layer and into the underlying
rock face. The only exception was Leang Jarie 1 and 2 (2012), which were sawn in situ but not
through the pigment layer. All of the sampled coralloids comprised multiple layers of dense and
nonporous calcite. The identification of a pigment layer overlaid by an extensive accumulation of
calcite laminations within each coralloid (except for Leang Jarie 1 and 2 [2012]) unambiguously
demonstrates that the sampled speleothems formed over the motifs (see Figs. 2-3 and Extended
Data Figs. 2-9). In the laboratory, the samples were microexcavated in arbitrary ‘spits’ over the
entire surface of the coralloids, creating a series of aliquots less than 1-mm-thick. The pigment layer
was visible across the entire length of the sample (except for Leang Jarie 1 and 2 [2012]). In total,
we obtained 55 uranium-series age determinations (an additional two failed to produce enough
signal for age determination) (Table 1 and Supplementary Information). The uranium-series
isotopes were measured on a ThermoFinnigan Neptune Plus Multi-Collector MC-ICP-MS and
calculation of ages and initial 234U/238U ratios was done with Isoplot 3.75. Corrections for detrital
components were calculated assuming the bulk Earth 232Th/238U concentration ratio of the upper
crust of 3.8 ± 50% and secular equilibrium for 230Th, 234U and 238U. In the main text, minimum ages
11
are quoted as measured age minus 2σ and maximum ages as measured age plus 2σ rounded to 1
decimal place.
31. Bourdon, B., Henderson, G. M., Lundstrom, C. C. & Turner, S. P. Uranium-series
Geochemistry (Mineralogical Society of America, 2003).
32. McCulloch M. T. & Esat, T. The coral record of last interglacial sea levels and sea surface
temperatures. Chem. Geol. 169, 107129 (2000).
33. McCulloch, M. T. & Mortimer, G. E. Applications of the 238U–230Th decay series to dating of
fossil and modern corals using MC-ICPMS. Aust. J. Earth Sci. 55, 955965 (2008).
34. Cheng, H., Adkins, J., Edwards, R. & Boyle, E. U-Th dating of deep-sea corals. Geochim.
Cosmochim. Ac. 64, 2401–2416 (2000).
35. Leclerc, P. in Expédition Thaï-Maros 86, 147-153 (Association Pyreneenne de Speleologie,
1987).
12
Figure Legends
Figure 1 | Location of the study area. a, Sulawesi is situated east of Borneo in the Wallacean
archipelago; b, The Maros-Pangkep karsts (shown as area of high relief) are near the town of Maros
on Sulawesi’s southwestern peninsula. The separate karst region of Bone is further east; c,
Archaeological sites included in this study: 1) Leang Barugayya 2; 2) Leang Barugayya 1; 3) Gua
Jing; 4) Leang Bulu Bettue; 5) Leang Sampeang; 6) Leang Timpuseng; 7) Leang Burung 2; 8)
Leang Lompoa; and 9) Leang Jarie. Gua Jing and Leang Barugayya 1 and 2 are separate cave sites
interconnected by a system of phreatic passages. Map data: a, b, Copyright ©ESRI (2008); c,
Copyright ©2014 Google Maps.
Figure 2 | Dated rock art from Leang Timpuseng. a, b, Locations of the dated coralloid
speleothems and associated paintings, a hand stencil and a large naturalistic depiction of an animal
shown in profile. Although the animal figure is badly deteriorated and obscured by coralloids, we
interpret it as a female babirusa. A painted red line below the babirusa (not clearly visible in a, but
illustrated in b) appears to represent the ground surface on which the animal is standing or walking.
The rock art panel is located on the ceiling about 8 m from the cave entrance and 4 m above the
current cave floor; c, d, Profiles of the coralloid speleothems showing the microexcavated
subsamples bracketing the age of the paintings. We interpret the similar ages for the overlying
aliquots as a result of fast growing speleothems. Tracing credit: Leslie Refine “Graph & Co”
(France).
Figure 3 | Dated rock art from Leang Jarie. a, b, Locations of the dated coralloid speleothems
and associated hand stencils. The hand stencils are part of a 4-m-long art panel located in a dark
recess along the eastern wall of the cave, about 5 m from the entrance and 1.5 m above the floor. c,
Profile of the coralloid speleothem (Leang Jarie 1, 2013) showing the microexcavated subsamples
13
bracketing the age of the paintings. The Leang Jarie 1 (2012) sample is from above the pigment
layer and so only provides a minimum age for the underlying hand stencils. Tracing credit: Leslie
Refine “Graph & Co” (France).
Table title
Table 1 | Results of uranium-series disequilibrium dating showing the minimum age of each
dated rock art motif (all isotopic ratios are activity ratios; errors are at 2s).
Sample Site Description 230Th/238U 234U/238U 230Th/232Th Uncorrected
Age (kyr) +2σ (kyr) -2σ
(kyr)
Corrected
Age (kyr) +2σ (kyr) -2σ (kyr) Initial 234U/238U
LL3.2 Leang
Lompoa Overlies hand stencil 0.1525 ± 0.0022 1.0067 ± 0.0014 137 17.87 0.27 0.28 17.77 0.42 0.42
1.0070 ± 0.0014
LB2.3 Leang
Barugayya 1 Overlies hand stencil 0.1624 ± 0.0077 0.9812 ± 0.0027 858 20.00 1.00 1.00 19.70 1.00 1.00
0.9801 ± 0.0028
LB3.3 Leang
Barugayya 1 Overlies hand stencil 0.2004 ± 0.0214 0.9799 ± 0.0025 428 24.90 2.90 2.90 24.90 3.10 3.00
0.9784 ± 0.0026
GJ2.2 Gua Jing Overlies hand stencil 0.1996 ± 0.0044 0.9943 ± 0.0009 50 24.40 0.60 0.59 24.00 1.10 1.10
0.9939 ± 0.0009
LB1.2 Leang
Barugayya 1 Overlies hand stencil 0.2308 ± 0.0211 0.9831 ± 0.0025 360 29.10 3.00 2.90 29.10 3.20 3.10
0.9817 ± 0.0028
LL1.3 Leang
Lompoa Overlies hand stencil 0.2322 ± 0.0030 1.0128 ± 0.0024 121 28.31 0.44 0.43 28.10 0.66 0.67
1.0138 ± 0.0025
LL2.2 Leang
Lompoa Overlies hand stencil 0.2391 ± 0.0064 1.0065 ± 0.0007 133 29.50 0.92 0.89 29.30 1.20 1.10
1.0070 ± 0.0008
GJ1.3 Gua Jin
g
Sequence of aliquots 0.2525 ± 0.0048 0.9998 ± 0.0010 31 31.70 0.69 0.69 30.90 1.70 1.80
0.9998 ± 0.0011
LS1.2 Leang
Sampeang Overlies hand stencil 0. 2549 ± 0.0044 0.9823 ± 0.0007 324 32.70 0.66 0.65 32.60 0.76 0.76
0.9806 ± 0.0007
LJ2 Lean
g
Jarie Overlies hand st encil 0.2738 ± 0.0022 0.9942 ± 0.0010 422 35.04 0.32 0.32 34.98 0.41 0.41
0.9935 ± 0.0011
LT1.2 Leang
Timpuseng
Overlies barbirusa
painting 0.2927 ± 0.0100 1.0163 ± 0.0023 682 37.00 1.50 1.50 36.90 1.60 1.50
1.0181 ± 0.0025
LB4.2 Leang
Barugayya 2
Overlies
undetermined animal
fi
g
ure
0.3481 ± 0.0385 1.0080 ± 0.0042 18 46.00 6.40 6.20 44.00 9.10 8.30
1.0091 ± 0.0046
LJ1 Leang Jarie Overlies hand stencil 0.3006 ± 0.0018 0.9839 ± 0.0014 1474 39.69 0.29 0.30 39.67 0.32 0.32
0.9820 ± 0.0015
LT2.3 Leang
Timpuseng Overlies hand stencil 0.3177 ± 0.0055 1. 0156 ± 0.0011 2845 40.80 0.83 0.83 40.70 0.87 0.84
1.0175 ± 0.0013
14
Supplementary Information
Supplementary Methods
Coralloid speleothems can be nodular, globular, botryoidal or coral-like in morphology. They form
from thin films of water precipitating on cave surfaces, resulting in concentric growth rings21. When
precipitated from saturated solutions, calcium carbonate usually contains small amounts of soluble
uranium (238U and 234U), which eventually decay to 230Th. The latter is essentially insoluble in cave
waters and will not precipitate with the calcium carbonate. This produces disequilibrium in the
decay chain where all isotopes in the series are no longer decaying at the same rate. Subsequently,
238U and 234U decay to 230Th until secular equilibrium is reached. Because the decay rates are
known, the precise measurement of these isotopes allows calculation of the age of the carbonate
formation31.
It is also common for secondary calcium carbonate to be contaminated by detrital materials, such as
wind-blown or waterborne sediments, and as such can lead to uranium-series ages that are
erroneously older than the true age of the sample. This is because the detrital fraction will
contribute to the overall amount of uranium-series nuclides so that the sample does not reflect a
radioactive disequilibrium related to the time of carbonate formation. The effects of detrital
contamination can be identified and often corrected for by measuring the activity of 232Th that is
solely present in the detrital fraction but which plays no part in the decay chain of uranium. An
indication of the degree of detrital contamination is expressed as 230Th/232Th activity, with high
values (>20) indicating little or no effect on the calculated age and low values (<20) indicating the
correction on the age will be significant31. Except for two samples (LL3.1 and B4.2), all our
samples have 230Th/232Th activity >20 indicating sample purity.
The small calcium carbonate samples were separately weighed in Savillex PFA vials. The samples
were covered with MilliQ water, and drops of Merck Ultrapur 60% HNO3 were added until
complete dissolution was achieved. A spike solution enriched in 236U-229Th was subsequently added
and the mixture was left to equilibrate overnight. The solutions were evaporated to dryness and then
redissolved in 1.5 M HNO3 ready for ion exchange chromatography, consisting of 0.25 mL of
Eichrom TRU resin over 0.1 mL of Eichrom pre-filter resin. The resins were cleaned by passing 3
M HCl, 0.2 M HCl and a 0.1 M HCl + 0.3 M HF mixture through the columns prior to use and then
preconditioned with 1.5 M HNO3. After the sample solutions were loaded onto the TRU resin bed
as solutions in 1.5 M HNO3, the columns were washed with 1.5 M HNO3 and 3 M HCl. Uranium
and thorium were imperfectly separated from the ion exchange medium using 0.2 M HCl (for
15
thorium), and 0.1 M HCl + 0.3 M HF (for uranium). Finally, the samples were evaporated to
dryness and redissolved in 4 ml 2% HNO3.
The U and Th solutions were introduced separately into a ThermoFinnigan Neptune Plus Multi-
Collector MC-ICP-MS equipped with a large interface pump, Jet Sample and Skimmer cones,
electrostatic analyzer, secondary electron multiplier (SEM), and retarding potential quadrupole
(RPQ) for high abundance sensitivity. Samples were aspirated using an ESI PFA-ST Aridus II
nebulizer at an uptake rate of ~0.1 mL/min. Sweep gas (Ar) flow rate was set to ~3-4 L/min and
Nitrogen was set to ~2-4 mL/min. Sensitivity was >1 V/ppb U.
Uranium isotopes were measured with the RPQ off, while thorium isotopes were measured with the
RPQ on. Isotopic ratios were corrected for background, tailing of 238U on 236U and 234U,
SEM/Faraday yield and instrumental mass bias (using 238U/235U = 137.88) after subtracting the
minor spike component. The SEM/Faraday yield was calculated externally using the NBS 960
standard by alternating 235U between the SEM and Faraday array while simultaneously measuring
238U on the Faraday array. This value was corrected for instrumental mass bias and compared with
the true value in SRM 960 = 0.007265. The SRM 960 standard was measured every two samples.
Relative gains derived from standard measurements were then interpolated to the unknowns. Other
standards used in this study are: AC-1, an Australian National University (ANU) coral powder with
a measured TIMS U-series age of 125 550 years32; and HU-1, a solution of secular equilibrium
Harwell Uraninite, also supplied by the ANU. AC-1 and HU-1 results are shown in Supplementary
Information, and in both cases are within error of the expected values. Total procedure blanks were
in the order of 0.9 pg for Th and 0.1 pg for U. Further details on our MC-ICP-MS procedure can be
found in ref. 33.
Calculation of ages and initial 234U/238U ratios was done using Isoplot 3.75 using the following
decay constants (dc) and half-lives (hl): 238Udc = 1.55125E-10; 238Uhl = 4.46831E+9, 234Udc =
2.82207E-6; 234Uhl = 2.45617E+5, 232Thdc = 4.94752E-11; 232Thhf = 1.401E+10, 230Thdc = 9.17052E-
6; 230Thhl = 7.55843E+4. Errors were calculated by Monte Carlo simulation (5,000 trials) ignoring
the uncertainties in the 235U and 238U decay constants. Corrections for detrital components were
calculated assuming the bulk Earth 232Th/238U concentration ratio of the upper crust of 3.8 ± 50%34
and secular equilibrium for 230Th, 234U and 238U.
16
Extended Data Figure 1 | Rock art panel on the ceiling at Leang Bulu Bettue. a, Black
drawings of early Austronesian style were made on a relatively freshly exposed limestone surface
and are superimposed over remnant patches of a much older surface, now extremely heavily
weathered and almost completely exfoliated, containing faded hand stencils (shown more clearly
and highlighted by arrows in b). The same rock art panel was documented and illustrated in a
publication by a team of French cavers in 1986, but the hand stencils were not identified35.
Extended Data Figure 2 | Dated rock art from Leang Jarie. a, Locations of the sampled
coralloid speleothems and associated hand stencils; b, Profile of the coralloid speleothem showing
the microexcavated subsamples bracketing the age of the paintings. The Leang Jarie 2 (2012)
sample is from above the pigment layer and so only provides a minimum age for the underlying
hand stencils.
Extended Data Figure 3 | Dated rock art from Leang Lompoa. a-c, Locations of the sampled
coralloid speleothems and associated hand stencil. Although heavily obscured by coralloid
speleothems, we interpret this image as a ‘mutilated hand’ stencil, which shows in outline a human
hand with two amputated digits or with the third and fourth fingers folded into the palm. The hand
stencil is located on the ceiling of a narrow, dimly lit passage leading off from the main entrance to
the cave. Samples Leang Lompoa 1 (2012) and Leang Lompoa 1 (2013) are part of the same cluster
of coralloid speleothems that formed over the hand stencil; d, e, Profile of the coralloid speleothems
showing the microexcavated subsamples bracketing the age of the motif. Note that sample LL1.2
(2012) does not represent the age of the hand stencil. The resultant age reflects a mixture of calcium
carbonate from below and above the pigment layer. Tracing credit: Leslie Refine “Graph & Co”
(France).
17
Extended Data Figure 4 | Dated rock art from Leang Lompoa. a, Locations of the sampled
coralloid speleothems and associated hand stencils. The hand stencils occur on a 2.5-m-high ceiling
in a small, dimly lit side chamber leading off from the cave mouth. The stencil at left (Leang
Lompoa 3) is stylistically distinct from the adjacent stencil (Leang Lompoa 2), with the fingers
modified by brushwork subsequent to stenciling to produce slender and pointy forms; b, c, Profiles
of the coralloid speleothems showing the microexcavated subsamples bracketing the age of the
hand stencils.
Extended Data Figure 5 | Dated rock art from Leang Barugayya 1. a, Locations of the sampled
coralloid speleothems and associated cluster of hand stencils. The hand stencils are situated on a
small rock art panel near the ceiling and close to the cave entrance. Samples LB1 and LB2 come
from two distinct hand stencils that are dark mulberry (almost black) in colour. Sample LB3 is from
over an adjacent red hand stencil; b-d, Profiles of the coralloid speleothems showing the
microexcavated subsamples bracketing the age of the hand stencils.
Extended Data Figure 6 | Dated animal painting from Leang Barugayya 2. a, b, Composite of
photographs showing the locations of the sampled coralloid speleothems and associated large
infilled red painting of an animal. Field photographs were altered in the software program DStretch
to enhance the image (b). The animal species depicted is unidentified due to the extent of
weathering and deterioration of the painting and the thick accumulation of coralloids over the art;
however, the painting appears to show in profile a large land mammal, probably a pig (a babirusa or
Sus celebensis), with the head facing right and the hindquarters at left; c, d, Profile of the coralloid
speleothems showing the microexcavated subsamples bracketing the age of the painting. Images a
and b courtesy of A. A. Oktaviana.
18
Extended Data Figure 7 | Dated rock art from Gua Jing. a, Location of the sampled coralloid
speleothem and associated hand stencil. The hand stencil is located on a stalactite curtain 15 m from
the cave entrance and 2 m above the current cave floor. The cave itself comprises a dark, winding
phreatic tube containing an extensive gallery of hand stencils and figurative animal motifs; b,
Profile of the coralloid speleothem showing the microexcavated subsamples bracketing the age of
the hand stencil.
Extended Data Figure 8 | Dated rock art from Gua Jing. a, Location of the sampled coralloid
speleothem and associated hand stencil; b, Profile of the coralloid speleothem showing the
microexcavated subsamples bracketing the age of the hand stencil.
Extended Data Figure 9 | Dated rock art from Leang Sampeang. a, Locations of the sampled
coralloid speleothems and associated hand stencil. Leang Sampeang is a 20-m-deep, narrow
chamber with paintings located on the ceiling at the back of the cave in complete darkness. In this
area, the cave is only 2.5 m wide and requires crawling to reach. Samples Leang Sampeang 1 and
Leang Sampeang 2 came from the same red hand stencil located 17 m from the cave entrance and
18 cm above the current cave floor; b, c, Profile of the coralloid speleothem showing the
microexcavated subsamples bracketing the age of the hand stencil.
... Hand stencils are accepted as being an important feature in paintings in rock art in many places across the world (Aubert et al., 2014;García-Diez et al., 2015;Hoffmann et al., 2018a;Pike et al., 2012;Standish et al., 2020;Taçon et al., 2014) and especially in the Iberian Peninsula whose current record counts 288 hand stencils (Check the supplementary material) (Collado Giraldo, 2018;García-Diez et al., 2015;Hoffmann et al., 2017Hoffmann et al., , 2018aPettitt et al., 2015a). ...
... In the past, the rock art of Maltravieso cave has been subjected to microbiological analyses (Arroyo et al., 1997), in situ Micro-Raman spectroscopy (Martínez-Ramírez et al., 2015), and U-Th dating of carbonate crusts that revealed a very ancient datation for these hand stencils (Hoffmann et al., 2018a). As Pitarch Martí recently aforementioned (Pitarch Martí et al., 2021), these results have been considered very controversial due to their antiquity (Aubert et al., 2014;Hoffmann et al., 2018c;Pearce and Bonneau, 2018;Pons-Branchu et al., 2020;White et al., 2020) so they are widely discussed and challenged by the scientific community, however, all criticism has been answered by the authors of the original study (Hoffmann et al., 2018b;Hoffmann et al., 2020Hoffmann et al., , 2018d. ...
... ATR-FTIR spectroscopy did not observe absorption bands of organic compounds in any motifs. The analyzed hand stencils, which are the most ancient of the paintings (sample MALT-1 and sample MALT-5) (Aubert et al., 2014;García-Diez et al., 2015;Hoffmann et al., 2018a;Pike et al., 2012;Standish et al., 2020;Taçon et al., 2014) were made with an earth pigment that owes its yellowishbrownish color to the presence of goethite. ...
Article
Maltravieso cave (Estremadura, Spain) was recently the subject of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy of 8 figures (four hand stencils, a red horse figure, a black bull figure, a pair of black lines, and a pair of brown lines). These artistic representations are composed of different colors including red, brown, and black figures. The analyses showed that different naturally occurred material compounds in the cave (such as kaolinite) were used in the creation of the ochre to obtain different hues. Hand stencils are made of earth pigment that is naturally present in the cave which contained hematite, magnetite, and goethite as chromophores material. The red horse figure was made with kaolinite-based ochre. The black bull figure was made with charcoal (identified with Raman spectroscopy). The pigmental composition analyses show that they are composed of the same natural matter found inside the cave. Our results suggest that different paintings in the cave have been produced by different techniques and these techniques are linked to different chronological periods. -- Résumé La grotte de Maltravieso (Estremadura, Espagne) a récemment fait l’objet d’une spectroscopie ATR-FTIR de 8 figures (quatre pochoirs de main, une figure de cheval rouge, une figure de taureau noir, une paire de lignes noires et une paire de lignes brunes). Ces représentations artistiques sont composées de différentes couleurs, dont des figures rouges, brunes et noires. Les analyses ont montré que différents composés matériels présents naturellement dans la grotte (comme la kaolinite) ont été utilisés dans la création de l’ocre pour obtenir différentes teintes. Les pochoirs de main sont faits de pigments naturellement présents dans la grotte et contenant de l’hématite, de la magnétite et de la goethite comme matériaux chromophores. La figure du cheval rouge a été réalisée avec de l’ocre à base de kaolinite. La figure du taureau noir a été réalisée avec du charbon de bois (identifié par spectroscopie Raman). Les analyses de la composition pigmentaire montrent que les pigments sont composés de la même matière naturelle que celle trouvée à l’intérieur de la grotte. Nos résultats suggèrent que les différentes peintures de la grotte ont été produites par différentes techniques et que ces techniques sont liées à des périodes chronologiques différentes.
... This is found almost evenly in all karst areas in Indonesia, as can be seen from traces of past civilizations, such as tools and flakes, jewelry, animal bones, plant foods, even the remains of human skeletons and early burial cultures Yondri 2019). Under certain conditions, art is also found in caves, such as paintings, drawings, and engravings on immobile rock surfaces and carved figurines (Aubert et al. 2014(Aubert et al. , 2018. At least 20 cave arts were found in Indonesia (Fauzi et al. 2019). ...
Article
Aprilia D, Arifiani KN, Sani MF, Jumari, Wijayanti F, Setyawan AD. 2021. Review: A descriptive study of karst conditions and problems in Indonesia and the role of karst for flora, fauna, and humans. Intl J Trop Drylands 5: 61-74. The karst area in Indonesia covers an area of about 15.4 million hectares and is spread almost throughout Indonesia. It is estimated the age of karst in Indonesia started from 470 million years ago to the most recent about 700,000 years. The existence of this area shows that many of the Indonesian islands were once seabed but were later uplifted and hardened. Most of the karst areas in Indonesia are composed of carbonate rocks, and almost none are composed of other rocks such as gypsum, salt rock, and evaporite rocks. Karst in Indonesia can be classified based on its development and climate. The amount of water available in the karst area plays an important role in human life and so do flora and fauna around the karst area. The karst area functions as an ecosystem for the habitat of various animals and plants. The richness of flora and fauna of this karst area is extraordinary. Karst area plays an important role in economy, science, and human culture. In addition, karst areas have an important role in the ecosystem, such as providing clean water, limestone-based natural materials, and controlling climate change. Its role in ecological function is that karst areas can also be a source of CO2 gas absorption. About 9.5% (155,000 km2) of the total karst area of Indonesia was damaged due to limestone mining activities, logging of vegetation, and land conversion. Given the importance of karst and limestone ecosystems as non-renewable natural resources, it is necessary to do conservation to maintain the ecological function. Steps that can be taken for conservation efforts in karst areas include limiting the sale of raw limestone to outside the area, clarifying protected areas and cultivation areas, socializing the importance of preserving karst areas, providing skills or developing other business opportunities, and reclaiming used land and mining according to the level and type of damage. This study aims to describe the geographical conditions and karst problems in Indonesia so that the conservation measures taken are known and identify the role of the karst area for flora, fauna, and humans.
... Varella (2021) found that the artistic-specific high intrinsic motivational pattern is temporally stable throughout the last three decades. Furthermore, the earliest artistic manifestations are prehistorically very old:, 35 thousands of years ago (i.e., ka: kiloanni) for bone flutes (Conard, Malina, & Münzel, 2009) and for a 'venus' figurine (Conard, 2009), 40-45 ka for cave paintings and hand stencils (Aubert et al., 2014(Aubert et al., , 2019Bednarik, 2014;Brumm et al., 2021;Pike et al., 2012), 73-77 ka for a engraving and an abstract drawing (Henshilwood et al., 2002(Henshilwood et al., , 2018, between 70 and 120 ka for the painted collar beads (d' Errico et al., 2009), and 164 ka for the use of red ochre (Marean et al., 2007). Moreover, some ancient artistic manifestations were also performed by extinct hominid species, such Neanderthals (Rodríguez-Vidal et al., 2014;Zilhão et al., 2010), Denisovans (Li et al., 2019;Pitulko, Pavlova, Nikolskiy, & Ivanova, 2012), and Homo erectus, particularly as ancient as 430-540 ka (Joordens et al., 2014), indicating even deeper roots for the onset of artistic propensities. ...
Article
Full-text available
Artistic behavior as aesthetically enhancing activities is conceptualized as a functionally autonomous activity within the evolved human behavioral repertoire. Accordingly, it should be intrinsically motivated, and it might also be expected to be temporally stable and domain specific. Preferential freely-pursued activities reflect intrinsic motivation and offer a valuable measure of artistic motivation. We used a large decades-long real-life public Brazilian data set from university applications to test these ideas. We analysed data on extra-class activities from 674.699 late-adolescents applying for university courses between 1987 and 2004, mostly between 17 and 19 years of age; approximately half men and half women. We found that 27% of individuals reported that Artistic/cultural activities were the leisure-time activity they participated in most frequently, and 32% reported they spent the longest period of free-time doing Artistic-activities (theater/cinema, music, dance, art-craft/plastic arts). Interestingly, from this whole sample, only less than 3% actually applied for artistic careers, which suggests that the prevalence of prioritizing artistic activities is higher than commonly assumed and includes not only professional artists, but also many hobbyists, amateurs and dedicated fans. Further, artistic careers applicants prioritize art almost three times more than the total of applicants, suggesting its specificity. After controlling for inconsistency of answer options during the period, prioritizing both Artistic/cultural and Artistic-activities remained temporally stable, as predicted. Despite limitations, overall results supported the hypotheses that artistic behavior is more intrinsically motivated, domain specific, and temporally stable. This plausibly demonstrates that artistic propensity has at least partly an evolved nature.
... La creación de pinturas en las paredes de las cuevas se considera unánimemente como un paso importante en la evolución cultural de la humanidad, ya que se trata de un medio que permite plasmar y transmitir representaciones simbólicas complejas de forma duradera (Lorblanchet, 1995;Lorblanchet y Bahn, 2017). En los últimos años, la datación uranio-torio (U-Th) de acumulaciones de calcita en asociación estratigráfica con pinturas ha demostrado que este tipo de arte es mucho más antiguo de lo que se pensaba hasta ahora (Pike et al., 2012;Zilhão, 2013;Aubert et al., 2014Aubert et al., , 2018aAubert et al., , 2019García-Diez et al., 2015;Hoffmann et al., 2018;Brumm et al., 2021). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Junto con las cuevas de Maltravieso (Cáceres) y La Pasiega (Cantabria), la cueva de Ardales (Málaga) alberga pinturas de al menos 65.500 años de antigüedad, siendo estas las más antiguas encontradas hasta el momento. Recientemente, se ha publicado un estudio cuyo objetivo era determinar la naturaleza y origen del pigmento rojo que conforma uno de los paneles datados por uranio-torio, el panel II.A.3 de la Cueva de Ardales. Los resultados del estudio en cuestión, confirman que las marcas rojas son un pigmento a base de ocre aplicado intencionada y repetidamente a lo largo del Paleolítico medio. Asimismo, la comparación de estos residuos con las muestras geológicas recogidas en la cueva sugiere que el pigmento utilizado para la elaboración de las pinturas proviene de un afloramiento situado en el exterior de la cavidad. En la presente contribución, retomamos dicho estudio para hacer una síntesis de los resultados más relevantes y para explorar sus implicaciones en base a otros casos de uso simbólico de entornos subterráneos por parte de los neandertales.
... It has recently been established that Sulawesi is host to some of the oldest dated rock art in the world [81,82] and possibly the earliest known artistic representations of animals found anywhere [83]. The oldest dated rock art on the island occurs in the limestone 'tower' karst district of Maros-Pangkep in South Sulawesi and features early figurative depictions of S. celebensis pigs [41,83]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Sulawesi warty pig (S. celebensis) is a wild and still-extant suid that is endemic to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It has long been theorised that S. celebensis was domesticated and/or deliberately introduced to other islands in Indonesia prior to the advent of the Neolithic farming transition in the region. Thus far, however, there has been no empirical support for this idea, nor have scientists critiqued the argument that S. celebensis was a pre-Neolithic domesticate in detail. Here, it is proposed that early foragers could have formed a relationship with S. celebensis that was similar in essence to the close association between Late Pleistocene foragers in Eurasia and the wild wolf ancestors of domestic dogs. That is, a longstanding practice of hunter-gatherers intensively socialising wild-caught S. celebensis piglets for adoption into human society as companion animals (‘pets’) may have altered the predator–prey dynamic, brought aspects of wild pig behaviour and reproduction under indirect human selection and control, and caused changes that differentiated human-associated pigs from their solely wild-living counterparts.
... e.g. Aubert et al. 2014), which are older than the well-known European cave art (cf. e.g. ...
Article
Full-text available
Abstrak. Koin Abbasyah di Sumatera Utara: Bukti Interaksi Peradaban Islam Abad 8-9 Masehi. Situs Bongal sejauh ini adalah situs purbakala di Nusantara yang memiliki bukti artefaktual tertua hadirnya peradaban Islam di Nusantara sebelum abad ke-12 M. Hal itu berbeda dari teori yang menyebut Islam di Nusantara berasal dari India dan mulai hadir sejak abad ke-12 M. Artefak yang ditemukan di Situs Bongal itu adalah koin-koin perak (dirham) dari masa Dinasti Abbasyah yang berasal dari kurun abad ke-8–9 M. Pertanggalan koin-koin Abbasyah tersebut bersesuaian dengan hasil pertanggalan mutlak terhadap material organik yang didapat dari ekskavasi di Situs Bongal. Hasil analisis karbon menunjukkan rentang okupasi Situs Bongal antara abad ke-6–10 M. Temuan berupa koin-koin Dinasti Abbasyah di situs Bongal adalah jawaban dari permasalahan tentang masuknya peradaban Islam ke Nusantara. Dalam kajian sejarah masuknya Islam ke Nusantara, muncul beragam teori yang menjelaskan asal dan masa kedatangannya. Salah satu teori menyebutkan bahwa Islam di Nusantara masuk sejak abad ke-7 M dibawa oleh para saudagar dari Asia Barat (Timur Tengah). Permasalahan dari teori tersebut adalah tafsirnya yang hanya didasarkan pada data historis semata tanpa dukungan data arkeologis. Koin-koin Abbasyah dari Situs Bongal menjadi bukti bahwa salah satu unsur peradaban Islam di Nusantara hadir seiring jalinan perniagaan kepulauan ini dengan Asia Barat (Timur Tengah) jauh sebelum abad ke-12 M. Kata kunci: Islam, Abbasiyah, koin, Situs Bongal, Sumatra Utara Abstract. Abbasid Coins in North Sumatra: Evidence of Interactions with Islamic Civilization in the 8th – 9th Century A.D. The Bongal site is an archaeological site in the archipelago with the oldest artefactual evidence of the presence of Islamic civilization before the 12th century AD. This is different from the theory that Islam in the archipelago originated from India and began to appear in the 12th century AD. That artefactual evidence is silver coins (dirham) from the Abbasid dynasty dating from the 8th – 9th century AD. The dating of the Abbasid coins corresponds to the absolute dating of organic materials obtained from the excavation at the Bongal Site. The carbon dating results show the Bongal Site’s occupation range is between the 6th – 10th century A.D. The findings in the form of Abbasid dynasty coins at the Bongal site answer the problem of the entry of Islamic civilization into the archipelago. In the study of the history of the entry of Islam into the archipelago, various theories emerged that explain the origin and time of its arrival. One theory says Islam in the archipelago entered in the 7th century AD, brought by merchants from West Asia (Middle East). The problem with this theory is that its interpretation is only based on historical data without supporting archaeological data. Abbasid coins from the Bongal Site are evidence that one of the Islamic civilization elements in the archipelago was present along with the trade relations of this archipelago with West Asia (Middle East) long before the 12th century AD. Keywords: Islam, Abbasid, coins, Bongal Site, North Sumatra
... e.g. Aubert et al. 2014), which are older than the well-known European cave art (cf. e.g. ...
Article
Abstrak. Opsi untuk Penelitian Arkeologi Bersama, Ethno-Arkeologi dan Antropologi di Papua. Papua memiliki potensi arkeologi yang besar, serta masih dijumpai tradisi prasejarah yang masih berlangsung hingga saat ini. Provinsi Papua dan Papua Barat menawarkan kesempatan yang sangat menarik untuk penelitian interdisipliner di bidang prasejarah dan keragaman budaya. Temuan arkeologis menunjukkan bahwa manusia mendiami bagian timur New Guinea sekitar 40.000-50.000 tahun yang lalu. Karena imigrasi utama kemungkinan besar terjadi dari barat Pulau New Guinea dihuni lebih awal. Penelitian arkeologi dan terkait sejauh ini hanya menetapkan beberapa situs dan bukti-bukti lain dari hunian awal manusia prasejarah di Papua Nugini. Tulisan ini bertujuan menggambarkan potensi penelitian arkeologi, antropologi, etnografi di Papua dan menyebutkan secara khusus penelitian arkeologi dan etnoarkeologi di Kabupaten Pegunungan Bintang, di wilayah suku Mek dan Ok. Metode penelitian dalam tulisan ini yaitu studi pustaka, survei, ekskavasi dan pendekatan etnoarkeologi. Hasil penelitian menunjukan bahwa pegunungan Papua menjadi pusat pertanian awal di dunia. Hingga saat ini masih dijumpai tradisi prasejarah di Papua yaitu pembuatan kapak batu, alat tulang dan tradisi megalitik. Tradisi prasejarah ini dijumpai di wilayah pegunungan dan pesisir. Penelitian, pertanggalan absolut situs dan publikasi arkeologi Papua masih sedikit jika dibandingkan dengan Papua Nugini. Hal ini menjadi potensi ke depan untuk melakukan penelitian dan publikasi bersama. Kata kunci: Etnografi, prasejarah, warisan budaya, rumah peradaban Abstract. With its prehistoric tradition still found to this present day, Papua is considered to have high archaeological potential. Papua and West Papua Provinces offer particularly interesting opportunities for interdisciplinary research in prehistory and cultural diversity. Archaeological findings show that humans inhabited the eastern half of New Guinea (NG) at least 40,000–50,000 years ago. As primary immigration most likely happened from west to east, the western half of the island of NG must have been inhabited even earlier. Archaeological and related research has established only a few sites and other signs of early human occupancy in the Indonesian part of NG. This review describes the potential of archaeological, anthropological, and ethnographic research in the Indonesian Papuan Provinces and specifically discusses recent ethnographic, archaeological, and ethno-archaeological work carried out in the Star Mountain Regency among the Mek and the Ok. The research methods employed in this research were literature review, survey, excavation, and ethnoarchaeological approaches. The findings show that Papuan highlands became one of the earliest centres of horticulture. Until now, there are still prehistoric traditions found in Papua, such as stone adzes, bone tools, and megalithic traditions. These prehistoric traditions are easily found in the highlands and coastal areas. Research sites absolute dating, and archaeological publication related to Papua is still considered low compared to PNG. Many facets of Papuan cultural diversity are still to be discovered for future research and collaborative publication. Keywords: Ethnography, prehistory, cultural heritage, rumah peradaban
Chapter
Nanomaterials exhibit the tendency to alter the fundamental properties with the size in the range of nanometers. The fascinating nanomaterials exhibit excellent fundamental properties and possess numerous applications in the fields of science and technology. However, the concept of nanomaterials already existed in prehistoric times unknowingly. Therefore, the present chapter discusses the historical overview, usage, and development of nanomaterials from the prehistoric time to the modern age. The scientific milestones achieved for the development of nanomaterials and nanotechnology have also been covered. Further, the properties at the nanoscale have been discussed in terms of confinement effect and the surface-to-volume ratio. The classification of nanomaterials based on several factors such as origin, composition, and dimensionality are elaborated. This chapter also included the possible synthesis approaches along with their benefits and disadvantages. Moreover, we briefly explore the general overview of nanomaterials for a variety of applications in the fields of energy, medicine, electronics, sensing, defense, etc.KeywordsNanomaterialsHistorical overviewClassification of nanomaterialsSynthesis approachesApplications
Article
Full-text available
Keywords: lithic artefacts; stone tool technology; raw material; chert; Toalean The intensified research on Toalean lithic artefacts is still lacking in comparative study of stone tool technology, which is necessary to inquire into the adaptation of different tool-making technology due to environmental factors. This paper discusses a comparative study of Toalean lithic artefacts from Leang Jarie in the Maros-Pangkep lowlands and Cappalombo 1 in the Bontocani highlands by the classification and analysis of lithic artifacts, as well as surveys and observations of raw material sources around the site. The results show an adaptation strategy to the availability of raw materials, resulted in a different trend on both sites. The low quality of chert in Bontocani has prompted stone tool manufacture in Cappalombo 1 to use various raw material and to apply bipolar techniques more frequently in reduce and retouch of the flakes. On the other hand, raw material utilization of chert in Leang Jarie is more homogenous and direct percussion technique is more frequently used. ABSTRAK Kata Kunci: artefak litik; teknologi alat batu; bahan baku; chert; Toalean Penelitian artefak litik Toalean yang semakin intensif masih belum banyak melakukan perbandingan teknologi pembuatan alat batu. Studi perbandingan perlu dilakukan untuk mengetahui kemungkinan adanya perbedaan strategi adaptasi teknologi berdasarkan aspek lingkungan. Tulisan ini membahas studi perbandingan artefak litik Toalean dari situs Leang Jarie yang ada di dataran rendah Maros-Pangkep dan situs Cappalombo 1 di dataran tinggi Bontocani. Metode yang digunakan adalah klasifikasi dan analisis temuan artefak litik, serta survei dan observasi sumber bahan baku di sekitar situs. Hasil studi perbandingan menunjukkan adanya strategi adaptasi terhadap kondisi bahan baku dan menghasilkan tren teknologi yang berbeda di kedua situs. Kualitas chert yang kurang baik di dataran tinggi Bontocani mendorong pembuatan alat batu di Cappalombo 1 menerapkan strategi pemanfaatan bahan baku yang beragam dan lebih sering menerapkan teknik bipolar untuk mereduksi dan meretus serpih. Sebaliknya, pemanfaatan bahan baku chert di Leang Jarie cenderung homogen dan lebih sering menerapkan teknik pukul langsung.
Article
Full-text available
Penelitian artefak litik Toalean yang semakin intensif masih belum banyak melakukan perbandingan teknologi pembuatan alat batu. Studi perbandingan perlu dilakukan untuk mengetahui kemungkinan adanya perbedaan strategi adaptasi teknologi berdasarkan aspek lingkungan. Tulisan ini membahas studi perbandingan artefak litik Toalean dari situs Leang Jarie yang ada di dataran rendah Maros-Pangkep dan situs Cappalombo 1 di dataran tinggi Bontocani. Metode yang digunakan adalah klasifikasi dan analisis temuan artefak litik, serta survei dan observasi sumber bahan baku di sekitar situs. Hasil studi perbandingan menunjukkan adanya strategi adaptasi terhadap kondisi bahan baku dan menghasilkan tren teknologi yang berbeda di kedua situs. Kualitas chert yang kurang baik di dataran tinggi Bontocani mendorong pembuatan alat batu di Cappalombo 1 menerapkan strategi pemanfaatan bahan baku yang beragam dan lebih sering menerapkan teknik bipolar untuk mereduksi dan meretus serpih. Sebaliknya, pemanfaatan bahan baku chert di Leang Jarie cenderung homogen dan lebih sering menerapkan teknik pukul langsung.
Book
Full-text available
Luc-Henri Fage, Jean-Michel Chazine Préface de Jean Clottes Bornéo, la mémoire des grottes est le témoignage d’une aventure hors du commun, racontée par les protagonistes eux-mêmes : la découverte exceptionnelle d’un art pariétal vieux de plus de 10.000 ans qui éclaire les processus de peuplement entre Asie et Australie. Depuis 1988, mission après mission, se dessine le profil des populations anciennes de Bornéo, probablement apparentées aux Aborigènes d’Australie, et les relations particulières qu’elles ont tissées avec les cavernes en créant un art rupestre caractérisé par l'abondance de mains négatives : on en a dénombré près de 2000, qui permettent de proposer de nouvelles interprétations de ce motif universel. Cet ouvrage magnifiquement illustré nous fait découvrir la richesse, la complexité et l’ancienneté de cette région du monde aujourd’hui menacée.
Article
Full-text available
After a brief presentation of the experimental protocols, this article discusses the results of the 14C dates obtained from charcoal specimens collected on the walls (drawings and torch-wipes) and on the ground of the Chauvet Cave. The dates, which are coherent, can be divided into two periods a few millennia apart: between 33 000 and 29 000 14C years BP (33 samples including the five parietal representations) and between 27 000 and 24 500 14C years BP (13 samples including the four torch-wipes).
Book
Txtbook on cave minerals and speleothems
Article
Describes a small excavation made in 1975. Because of its great age (between 19 000 and 31 000 yr), the material from this excavation is described in detail, but a detailed comparative analysis of the flaked stone tools is not yet possible because of the lack of other sites of this age so far recognised in Indonesia. There is also a report on sediments, on shellfish, and on radiocarbon dating of shells. -from Author
Article
The rock art in Altamira Cave was the first ensemble of Palaeolithic parietal art to be identified scientifically (Sautuola, 1880). Due to the great thematic, technical and stylistic variety of the art in the cave, which constitutes one of the most complete Palaeolithic art ensembles, Altamira was listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1985. Uranium-series dating has recently been applied to figures on the decorated ceiling in the cave. Several motifs are partly covered by thin layers of calcite precipitates, whose formation process is datable by this method. The results provide the date when the calcite formed, which gives a minimum age for the underlying depictions. These results confirm that the parietal art at Altamira was produced during a prolonged period of time, at least 20,000 years (between 35,000 and 15,200 years ago), and that part of the ensemble corresponds to the Aurignacian period.
Article
The rock art in Altamira Cave was the first ensemble of Palaeolithic parietal art to be identified scientifically (Sautuola, 1880). Due to the great thematic, technical and stylistic variety of the art in the cave, which constitutes one of the most complete Palaeolithic art ensembles, Altamira was listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1985. Uranium-series dating has recently been applied to figures on the decorated ceiling in the cave. Several motifs are partly covered by thin layers of calcite precipitates, whose formation process is datable by this method. The results provide the date when the calcite formed, which gives a minimum age for the underlying depictions. These results confirm that the parietal art at Altamira was produced during a prolonged period of time, at least 20,000 years (between 35,000 and 15,200 years ago), and that part of the ensemble corresponds to the Aurignacian period.
Article
The discovery of Chauvet cave, at Vallon-Pont-d’Arc (Ardèche), in 1994, was an important event for our knowledge of palaeolithic parietal art as a whole. Its painted and engraved figures, thanks to their number (425 graphic units), and their excellent state of preservation, provide a documentary thesaurus comparable to that of the greatest sites known, and far beyond what had already been found in the group of Rhône valley caves (Ardèche and Gard). But its study – when one places it in its natural regional, cultural and thematic framework – makes it impossible to see it as an isolated entity of astonishing precocity. This needs to be reconsidered, and the affinities that our research has brought to light are clearly incompatible with the very early age which has been attributed to it. And if one extends this examination to the whole of the Franco-Cantabrian domain, the conclusion is inescapable: although Chauvet cave displays some unique characteristics (like every decorated cave), it belongs to an evolved phase of parietal art that is far removed from the motifs of its origins (known from art on blocks and on shelter walls dated by stratigraphy to the Aurignacian, in France and Cantabrian Spain). The majority of its works are therefore to be placed, quite normally, within the framework of the well-defined artistic creations of the Gravettian and Solutrean. Moreover, this phase of the Middle Upper Palaeolithic (26,000–18,000) coincides with a particularly intensive and diversified local human occupation, unknown in earlier periods and far less dense afterwards in the Magdalenian. A detailed critique of the treatment of the samples subjected to AMS radiocarbon dating makes it impossible to retain the very early age (36,000 cal BP) attributed by some authors to the painted and engraved figures of Chauvet cave.
Article
This paper critically reviews the various approaches used to estimate the age of the rock art in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. They include: (i) the relative superimposition of styles; (ii) the use of diagnostic subject matter (depictions of extinct animals, stone tool technology, introduced European and Asian objects and animals); (iii) the recovery of a ‘painted’ slab from a dated archaeological unit; (iv) radiocarbon dating of beeswax figures, charcoal pigments, organic matter in overlying mineral deposits and ‘accreted paint layers’ (oxalate rich crusts and amorphous silica skin), pollen grains from an overlaying mud-wasp nest; and (v) optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of quartz grains from overlying mud-wasp nests. Future directions for rock art dating in the Kimberley include uranium-series dating of overlying and underlying mineral deposits.