New Paper: Rock art and the colonisation of Southeast Asia

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Over the past decade, archaeologists have been able to directly date rock art, particularly in Island Southeast Asia at sites in East Kalimantan, East Timor and South Sulawesi. The dates of rock art indicate that modern humans were creating rock art during the Pleistocene, comparable to similar rock art in Europe. In this paper by Aubert et al., the authors note that the presence of these sites and dates now begs the question, did the ability to create rock art move out of Africa with human migrations, or did it erupt independently in different parts of the world? Also within Island Southeast Asia, did rock art develop from a specific place and spread throughout prehistoric Sahul, or did it arise independently among different communities in the region?

Recent technological developments in scientific dating methods and their applications to a broad range of materials have transformed our ability to accurately date rock art. These novel breakthroughs in turn are challenging and, in some instances, dramatically changing our perceptions of the timing and the nature of the development of rock art and other forms of symbolic expression in various parts of the late Pleistocene world. Here we discuss the application of these methods to the dating of rock art in Southeast Asia, with key implications for understanding the pattern of recent human evolution and dispersal outside Africa.

The Timing and Nature of Human Colonization of Southeast Asia in the Late Pleistocene: A Rock Art Perspective – Current Anthropology
https://doi.org/10.1086/694414

Fossil finds reveal range of pleistocene wildlife

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Over 500 fossils have been found at the Ma Tuyen Cave in Lao Cai province of Vietnam, representing at least 12 animal species including bears, elephants, horses and rhinos.

10,000 year old elephant teeth discovered in Lao Cai
Saigon Giai Phong, 12 June 2010

Twelve animal species found in Lao Cai cave [Link no longer available]
Viet Nam News, 17 June 2010
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After the crocodile, comes a mammoth

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28 April 2007 (Jakarta Post) – In the heels of the fossil crocodile find near the Sangiran site, a fossil of a mammoth is found.

Mammoth fossil found in C. Java

A resident has discovered fossilized mammoth bones near where the fossil of a prehistoric crocodile was discovered at the Sangiran excavation site on April 20.

Gunawan, a staff member at the Sangiran Agency for the Preservation of Ancient Sites, said this latest discovery took place April 22, but was only reported to his office four days later.

“The mammoth fossil is believed to be from the same era as the crocodile found earlier,” Gunawan said Friday.

Officials earlier said the crocodile fossil was believed to come from the Middle Pleistocene era, about 800,000 years ago.

According to Gunawan, the fossilized mammoth (Stegodon trigonocephalus) was found by Daryanto, a resident of Dayu village in Gondangrejo district, Karanganyar regency.


Related Books:
Ancient History (The Indonesian Heritage Series) by Indonesian Heritage
Prehistoric Indonesia: A reader

Prehistoric croc fossil found in Central Java

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24 April 2007 (Jakarta Post) – The fossil of a prehistoric crocodile has been found in Sangiran, already famous for being the site of the discovery of Java Man.

Prehistoric crocodile fossil found in Sangiran

The fossil of a prehistoric crocodile has been found at the Sangiran site in Sragen, Central Java, by a local resident.

“The first bit (of the fossil) that I found was the teeth of its upper jaw,” Mulyono, 31, told reporters at the Sangiran Fossil Laboratory on Monday.

Mulyono explained that the finding was quite by chance, as he was digging an irrigation gutter in his rice field. “Suddenly, I found the fossil,” Mulyono said. The discovery was made Friday and the excavation was carried out the next day.

On Monday, a number of employees from the Sangiran laboratory were still busy cleaning the fossil, which has a diameter of 49 centimeters and a length of 95 centimeters.

Gunawan, one of the employees, said the fossil was believed to have come from the Middle Pleistocene era, about 1.6 million years ago. “This is still a preliminary estimation, taking into consideration the location of the discovery at a hilly area in Pucung village in Kalijambe district, which has been classified in the Kabuh formation or the Middle Pleistocene era,” he said.

So far there has been no formal statement on how scientists will calculate the age of the fossil. “This is still being studied by archeological experts from the Sangiran Museum,” Gunawan said.


Related Books:
Ancient History (The Indonesian Heritage Series) by Indonesian Heritage
Prehistoric Indonesia: A reader