Prehistoric human skeleton found at Penang neolithic site

Malay Mail, 19 April 2017: Human remains have been found during construction at Guar Kepah in Penang, a known shell midden site that has been investigated previously. The construction in question is actually the gallery site that was to display information from previous excavations! The team from USM is now studying the bones.

Source: Prehistoric human skeleton found at Penang neolithic site | Malaysia | Malay Mail Online

See also: 5,000-year-old skeleton discovered at Guar Kepah construction site (New Straits Times/Yahoo, 19 April 2017)

The legacy of the Ban Chiang discovery

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the Ban Chiang culture in Thailand’s Udon Thani province. This article from the Isaan Record features and interview with Dr Joyce White and her involvement with the site.

Burials at Ban Chiang. Source: The Isaan Record 20160420
Burials at Ban Chiang. Source: The Isaan Record 20160420

The legacy of Ban Chiang: Archaeologist Joyce White talks about Thailand’s most famous archaeological site
The Isaan Record, 20 April 2016

Fifty years ago in August, in the village of Ban Chiang near Udon Thani, a visiting American student named Stephen Young tripped over an exposed tree root and fell atop the rim of a clay pot partly buried in the village path. His tumble set into motion two joint Thai-American archaeological expeditions to Ban Chiang in the 1970s that exposed the extent of prehistoric burial sites beneath the village, sites filled with thousands of pieces of pottery and metalwork buried as grave goods by Neolithic and Bronze Age peoples at different times between 4200 and 1800 years ago. The Ban Chiang finds revealed unexpected technological and artistic development among the peoples of the region and challenged prevailing ideas about the prehistory of Southeast Asia.

American archaeologist Dr. Joyce White is the Director of the Ban Chiang project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, USA, where she has studied the finds from Ban Chiang since 1976. She is an expert witness for the US Department of Justice in an ongoing antiquities trafficking case that in 2014 resulted in the return of many smuggled Ban Chiang items to Thailand.

Full story here.

Taiwan excavation shows Neolithic settlement

Since 1996, Academia Sinica has been excavating at the Tainan Science Park to unearth traces of settlement that go back 5,000 years.

Tainan Science Park excavation. Source: Focus Taiwan 20160212
Tainan Science Park excavation. Source: Focus Taiwan 20160212

Evidence of how ancient humans crossed Taiwan Strait still scarce
Focus Taiwan, 12 Feb 2016

A vast cache of prehistoric artifacts and human remains have been unearthed at an archaeological site in the Tainan Science Park, but none offer concrete evidence explaining an age-old mystery: how ancient settlers from China actually reached Taiwan.

Several million cultural artifacts and faunal and botanic remains have been excavated from over 2,000 burial sites in the science park since the archaeological project kicked off in December 1996, according to Academia Sinica, which is overseeing the work.

The artifacts unearthed have been highly similar to those excavated from archaeological sites along the coasts of southeastern China, said Academia Sinica academician Tsang Cheng-hwa (臧振華) when speaking of the award-winning project with local media last month.

Full story here.

Feature on Gua Harimau

Jelajah.com carries a feature on the Neolithic site of Gua Harimau in South Sumatra. Even if you can’t read Indonesian, it’s worth a visit for the pictures – Gua Harimau is the only known painted rock art site on Sumatra, and it features a number of other prehistoric burials.

Gua Harimau in South Sumatra. Source: Jelajah 20150325
Gua Harimau in South Sumatra. Source: Jelajah 20150325

Keunikan Gua Harimau di Padang Bindu, Sumatera Selatan [Link no longer active]
Jelajah, 25 March 2015
Article is in Bahasa Indonesia

Dari kota Palembang di Sumatera Selatan rombongan kami bergerak ke baratdaya menuju kota Baturaja. Jarak tempuhnya sekitar 6 jam dengan menggunakan kendaraan beroda empat. Kali ini saya bergabung dengan rombongan para arkeolog dari kota Jakarta, Jambi dan Palembang untuk mengunjungi Gua Harimau di desa Padang Bindu, kecamatan Semidang Aji, kabupaten Baturaja.

Kami bermalam di kota Baturaja dan mulai melanjutkan perjalanan keesokan paginya. Hanya butuh 30 menit kami tiba di desa Padang Bindu, lokasi terdekat dari Gua Harimau. Kendaraan roda empat tak bisa masuk lebih jauh, rombongan harus berjalan kaki. Tapi sebelumnya kami sempatkan membeli makanan dan minuman untuk bekal selama di Gua Harimau. ”Tak ada warung di sana,” begitu kata Agus Sudaryadi, arkeolog asal Jambi, yang kebetulan sekamar dengan saya di hotel.

Taiwanese highway artefacts revealed

Neolithic artefacts discovered during the construction of a highway in Taiwan have been revealed, after an excavation programme that started last year. The stone tools and pottery fragments are thought to be around 3,000 years old.

Prehistoric relics make public debut in Miaoli [Link no longer active]
Taiwan Today, 05 March 2015

An assortment of relics recovered from an expressway construction site in northern Taiwan’s Miaoli County were publicly unveiled March 4, shedding new light on Neolithic life on the island.

Comprising everyday items, as well as pottery fragments and stone axes, the 3,000-year-old artifacts were unearthed during a Directorate-General of Highways-commissioned dig starting last October.

According to Archaeo Cultures Co. Ltd., the firm responsible for carrying out the project, the 24,000-square-meter-plus Dianziwo site was discovered in 1993 by a Miaoli local.

Prehistoric caves found in Papua

A series of caves containing prehistoric artefacts have been discovered near Jayapura, the capital of Indonesia’s Papua province.

Prehistoric caves discovered near Sentani Lake
Jakarta Post, 02 February 2015

The Archaeology Agency of Jayapura has recently discovered caves that were once inhabited by prehistoric people in the karst hills near Sentani Lake, Jayapura.

“The caves discovered have been named Rukhabulu Awabu, Ifeli-feli and Ceruk Reugable,” researcher Hari Suroto of the agency said as quoted by Antara.

Full story here.

Grain finds in Yunnan raises interesting questions for prehistoric migration into Southeast Asia

A find from China that may have some bearing on Southeast Asia – 4,000-year-old wheat and millet have been found in Yunnan province , further south than originally thought. While the study has yet to be published, the find raises interesting questions about the movement of people from China down and through to mainland Southeast Asia in the Neolithic and the Bronze Age.

Grain finds in Yunnan province may shed light on a Bronze Age civilisation
South China Morning Post, 09 December 2012
Continue reading “Grain finds in Yunnan raises interesting questions for prehistoric migration into Southeast Asia”

New gallery for Neolithic site in Penang

An archaeological gallery will be set up for the Guar Kepah site in Penang, a Neolithic shell midden site. It appears that the shell middens were also used as burial mounds.

Guar Kepah excavation, The Sun 20120227
Guar Kepah excavation, The Sun 20120227

New gallery to showcase 6,000-year-old culture
The Sun, 27 February 2012
Continue reading “New gallery for Neolithic site in Penang”

Archaeologist find prehistoric artefacts from riverbank site

Archaeologists discover Sa Huynh tombs (presumably jar burials) near the bank of a river in Quang Ngai Province in Vietnam. The site sits within the proposed area for the construction of a reservoir, and the respective government agencies are said to be in talks to postpone the building of the reservoir until the artefacts can be recovered.

2,000 year-old tombs discovered in central Vietnam
Vietnam Net Bridge, 05 April 2011

Ancient artefacts unearthed in Tang River alluvial plain
Viet Nam News, 06 April 2011
Continue reading “Archaeologist find prehistoric artefacts from riverbank site”

Vietnamese cave show signs of Neolithic habitation

Archaeologists have discovered a cave showing signs of habitation during the Neolithic period 7,000-8,000 years ago.

Cave served as home of early human found
Viet Nam News, 13 September 2010
Continue reading “Vietnamese cave show signs of Neolithic habitation”