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Borneo, Memory of the Caves

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Borneo: Memory of the Caves is the account of an extraordinary adventure, told by the protagonists who made the exceptional discovery of the rock art murals of Kalimantan which are over ten thousand years old. Their findings shed new light on how populations developed between Southeast Asia and Australia. Since 1988, in mission after mission, a profile of Borneo's ancient populations has emerged, suggesting not only their similarities with the Aboriginal people of Australia, but also the particular relationships they developed with the caves, by creating rock art characterized by an abundance of negative hands. Close to two thousand such hands discovered to date allow for new interpretations of this universal motif. In this magnificently illustrated work, we discover not only the richness and complexity of an ancient region of the world, but also how today, this heritage is endangered. SINCE THE DATATION OF BUFFALOS PAINTINGS OF WHAT WE CALLED ILAS KENCENG (or Lobang Gerihi Saleh) BY MAXIME AUBERT & al. (Nature, 2018) THIS CAVE CONTAIN IS THE OLDEST FIGURATIVE PAINTING TODAY (more than 40.000 y. old) THIS BOOK IS THE BIBLE OF ALL THESES DISCOVERIES FROM 1987 TO 2006.
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... Peta Cekungan Kapuas (lingkaran merah), seluas ±8000 km2, di pedalaman hutan hujan tropis Pegunungan Müller (sumber pe a e a ema ikindo wordpress com 2013 03 30 adminis rasi-provinsikalimantan-barat/) dimodifikasi oleh penulis 2018) (Barker et al., 2007;Barker et al., 2013;Datan & Bellwood, 1991) dan kompleks Sangkulirang (Chazine et al. 2005(Chazine et al. -2012 b) Ceruk-ceruk di kompleks Sangkulirang (Kalimantan Timur; Chazine et al., 2005Chazine et al., -2012Chazine, 2005) terdiri atas 33 ceruk. Di antara ke-33 ceruk tersebut, Gua Kebobo adalah satu-satunya ceruk yang mengandung dua penguburan terlipat dari ras Australo-Papuan, dan merupakan peradaban pre-tembikar (Chazine et al., n.d.;Fage & Chazine, 2010). Pertanggalan absolut Gua Kebobo belum dilakukan. ...
... Ceruk LK dapat dicapai dari Putussibau selama 12 jam dengan perahu, dan hanya pada periode transisi musim kering ke hujan (atau sebaliknya) saat luah air cukup untuk menavigasikan perahu. Pada penelitian speleologis tahun 1989, Luc -Henri Fage(Fage & Chazine, 2010) melihat gambar arang dari figur-figur simbolis di langit-langit ceruk LK. Pada 1992, Chazine melakukan survei di ceruk LK dan menemukan sejumlah Hasil survei ini adalah empat belas ceruk gamping yang lima di antaranya memiliki potensi penelitian arkeologi, dan tiga ceruk dengan potensi penelitian etnoarkeologi. ...
Research
We created a predictive model of potentials archaeological caves exists at the river flow area of Hovorit, Kapuas Hulu, West Borneo. The goal is to make a prediction of occupational area that we will explore in the next year field research.
... In Borneo, some hand stencils decorated with painted linear infill have been dated to around 21,000--20,000 ka (Aubert et al 2018). Located in high, difficult-to-reach cave sites, over 100 decorated motifs feature a range of red and mulberry-coloured linear designs in the palms, fingers, wrist and forearm including single and parallel straight, curved, and dashed lines, v-shapes, tree-like-shapes, dot patterns, and other abstract designs (Chazine 2005;Fage and Chazine 2010). In some instances, meandering lines are used to connect some decorated hands and at one cave, over 50 different design variations were identified (Fage and Chazine 2010:113). ...
Article
Full-text available
A core feature of rock art studies concerns the characterisation and analysis of motif styles to generate new insights into their function, meaning, and symbolism in the deep and recent past. Yet what is oftentimes overlooked is attention to the production sequence used to create motifs, and what this can reveal about the social and cultural behaviour of artists. Where it is evident that a particular group of motifs contains a wide range of individual design conventions, questions about why and how these choices were made become points of enquiry that have the potential to develop new insights into their symbolic and relational character, and cultural significance. To address this challenge, we undertook an investigation of the rare and highly distinctive Painted Hand rock art style from western Arnhem Land (Northern Territory, Australia). Using a quantitative, systematic, style-based analysis, and an ethnographic exploration of a select group of distinctive design conventions, we show how the decisions made by artists to use specific design conventions were not random but instead were deeply implicated in, and shaped by, social processes acquired through learning or enculturation.
... In 1988 a French speleological exploration, conducted by Fage (1989Fage ( , 1994 and Fage et al. (2010), discovered prehistoric rock art in the catchment area of the Marang and Jelai rivers (on the western piedmont plain of the Gunung Marang Mountains). In 1992, a French archaeological mission in this area, conducted by J.M. Cha- zine, explored systematically a series of caves and rock shelters, some with wall paintings (Chazine, 1995). ...
Article
Island Southeast Asia has been the subject of important archaeological discoveries regarding human evolution and recent human population history. Within this context, East Borneo is of special interest because of its strategic location on the edge of Sundaland facing the Wallace line. Relatively little is known about the prehistory of eastern Borneo, mainly due to difficulties in exploring this karstic region. Since 2003, an archaeological research project, coordinated by Puslitbang Arkeologi Nasional (Indonesia) and the French CNRS (University of Provence and University of Toulouse), has been developed on the karstic region of East Kalimantan (Mangkalihat peninsula, Indonesia). A new multidisciplinary project was initiated in 2010, involving archaeological, anthropobiological and ethno-linguistic approaches, essential for uncovering the human occupation process during human history.
... Since 2003, a French-Indonesian archaeological research project, coordinated by the National Research Center for Archaeology (Indonesia) and the University of Toulouse (France), has been developed in the karstic region of East Kalimantan (Mangkalihat Peninsula, Indonesia) to investigate human occupation processes during prehistory. Numerous surveys have led to the discovery of more than 50 caves and shelters, some with unique rock art paintings including Gua Saleh which dates back to at least the Early Holocene (Plagnes et al. 2003; Chazine et al. 2010). Recent excavations have targeted Liang Jon (Chazine and Ferrié 2008) and Liang Abu rock shelters (Ricaut et al. 2011Ricaut et al. , 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological research in the Liang Abu rock shelter (East Kalimantan) led to the discovery and analysis of a pottery assemblage including red-slipped, cord-marked and incised pottery sherds, radiocarbon dated to 1672 ± 21 BP and 1524 ± 22 BP. In order to discuss our findings we undertake a reappraisal of the pottery material and associated radiocarbon dates from archaeological sites on Borneo Island, which provide us with an appropriate framework for a comparative analysis. This allows us to to include the inland region of Kalimantan in the technological network of Neolithic Island South East Asia.
Article
Recent archaeological excavations at Liang Jon, a limestone rockshelter in the East Kalimantan province of Indonesian Borneo, have revealed a cultural sequence covering the period from around 16,700 calibrated radiocarbon years before present (16.7 kyr cal BP) until the late Holocene—a time of dynamic environmental, social, and economic change throughout Island Southeast Asia. There are few published archaeological sequences from this period of human history from Borneo, a geographically strategic region in the wider early human settlement of the region, highlighting the importance of our initial finds and dating work at Liang Jon. We describe our excavation and present chronostratigraphic and initial summary data to outline the significance this cultural sequence has in reconciling archaeological evidence and dated rock art records from early human cultural behaviour at the easternmost margin of the Late Pleistocene continental landmass of Sunda. Summary data, including stone artefacts, marine shell beads, faunal remains, and a pre-Austronesian burial, contributes to our understanding of regional trends associated with widespread cultural and technological change during the Pleistocene to Holocene transition, when the present-day island of Borneo was formed.
Chapter
This chapter examines the archaeology relevant for discussing the arrival and expansion of Homo sapiens in Island Southeast Asia, from about 50 kya down to the beginning of the Neolithic. It focuses on the Paleolithic archaeology associated with Homo sapiens in Southeast Asia. There appear to be two major, but rather diffuse, industrial divisions in the late Paleolithic. The first consists of a series of pebble tool-based unifacial or bifacial industries, made on river or beach pebbles, which occur in caves and shell middens on the Southeast Asian mainland and in some regions of Sumatra. The second consists of a series of flake-based industries found similarly in caves and shell middens in the islands of Southeast Asia, as well as in Paleolithic Australia and New Guinea. The differences are of emphasis only, all industries have both core and flake tools in varying proportions.
Chapter
This chapter highlights the enormous importance of the Neolithic era in creating the peoples and languages who inhabit the greater part of Island Southeast Asia today. It introduces the western Neolithic stream in Island Southeast Asia by continuing the Niah sequence. Pottery traditions in Indonesia and East Malaysia suggest that at least two cultural streams, western and eastern streams, might have been involved in the movement southwards from the Philippines. Between 2500 and 1500 BCE, human populations migrated into Southeast Asia from southern China and Taiwan, bringing new modes of sedentary settlement and a broad range of material culture. The relative social and economic importance of domestic animals in the Neolithic of Island Southeast Asia is partly reflected in the comparative frequencies of occurrence in the zooarchaeological record and in the way animals were treated before and after death.
Article
Full-text available
We present the first application of cross-dating (Th/U measured by thermo-ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) and 14C measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS)) of calcite covering prehistoric paintings. Th/U age estimates of cave drapery range from 9800 to 27,300 yr B.P. while conventional 14C age is estimated between 9900 and 7610 yr B.P. depending on the dead carbon correction. The age discrepancy is attributed to a disturbance of Th/U and/or 14C geochemical systems, showing the limits of the geochronological approach applied to this kind of material. For the Th/U system, the poor consistency of U data (U content, 234U/238U activity ratios) and apparent ages argue for open system conditions. For 14C system, variation of the dead carbon fraction (dcf) and a possible mixing of successive generations of calcite could account for age discrepancy. Nevertheless, one sample shows concordant ages for the two methods. Compatible ages through corrections for open system conditions are assumed for other samples. Then, the cross-dating suggests 9900 yr as the minimum age of the piece of drapery; the underlying painting must be older. This study of rock art demonstrates the presence of a Pleistocene population before 9900 yr in the southeast of Borneo, whereas previously the only population in evidence in this area was of Austronesian type from ∼5000 to 6000 yrs ago.
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