Negeri Sembilan’s rainbow cave dig

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via Seremban Online, 06 August 2018: The archaeology team from Universiti Sains Malaysia is currently excavating a cave site called Gua Pelangi in Negri Sembilan.

It’s not easy being the Prof, but you can tell from his smile he wouldn’t have it any other way. Squatting six feet underground, at the bottom of a carefully measured square plot in the confines of a steamy, humid cave near Kuala Pilah, Prof Datuk Dr Mokhtar Saidin sweeps away some dirt with a soft brush, scratches his head, leans against the muddy wall, then for three or four minutes makes some notes and draws some simple diagrams-it’s not the most glamorous part of the job done by USM Global Archaeology Research Centre director professor Mokhtar but it is exciting.

Source: Negeri Sembilan’s rainbow cave dig | serembanonline

New cave research in South Sulawesi

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Researchers in South Sulawesi will embark on a new project to research the caves found in the province, which are rich in prehistoric material and rock art.

Research into South Sulawesi prehistoric caves continues
Jakarta Post, 11 February 2015

The Makassar Cultural Heritage Preservation Center (BPCB) is working with the city’s Hasanuddin University and Ujungpandang Heritage to conduct new research into prehistoric caves located in Maros and Pangkajene Islands (Pangkep) regencies in South Sulawesi.

BPCB archeologist and research coordinator Rustan said the studies were aimed at updating research conducted 10 years ago, which had not since been updated, especially after Indonesian and Australian researchers discovered a painting in Maros in 2014, believed to be as old as those found in Europe.

“The data on prehistoric caves in South Sulawesi, especially in Maros and Pangkep, is based on 10-year-old research, and a number of archeologists felt that the quality of paintings in the caves had deteriorated and been degraded. It has even been suggested that the degradation is taking place rapidly,” said Rustan
on Tuesday.

Full story here.

Prehistoric caves found in Papua

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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.

New book on Malaysian Caves

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Longtime reader of this blog Liz Price has a new book out on Malaysian caves – a pretty comprehensive bibliography on everything that’s been published about caves in Malaysia – including plenty of archaeology. A good reference to have!

cover front res

A4 , 246 pp, soft cover, published May 2013.
ISBN 978-967-11839-0-8

This bibliography covers the whole of Malaysia, i.e. Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, and contains about 4800 references to Malaysian caves and karst, dating from the 1700s to 2012. In addition there is an extensive newspaper biblio covering 1953 – 2012. Other pages provide an introduction to Malaysian caves and history, and there is a map and glossary. It is an invaluable reference work for anyone interested in limestone caves and karst, archaeology, conservation, flora and fauna, geomorphology, geology, hydrology, history etc, as well as for the sporting caver who wants to learn more about Malaysian caves.

To order, contact

An unusual human foot find from the Philippines

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The news of an unusual hominid foot bone was first announced at the IPPA Congress last year, raising the possibility of a hobbit-like hominids inhabiting the Philippines 67,000 years ago. Now, a paper has been published in the Journal of Human Evolution about the intriguing foot bone, identified as human, but also fitting within the size range of the Homo floresiensis and Homo habilis as well. The location of the find suggests that human seafaring was already existing 60,000-70,000 years ago.

New evidence for a 67,000-year-old human presence at Callao Cave, Luzon, Philippines
Journal of Human Evolution, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.04.008

Mystery seafaring ancestor found in the Philippines
New Scientist, 03 June 2010
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Cave restriction to fend off hunters of Yamashita's treasure?


I posted the story about Philippines move to regulate treasure hunting in caves earlier, but a smaller detail in this Inquirer story was a little interesting – besides archaeological and cultural finds, is the Philippines trying to deter hunters for Yamashita’s treasure as well?

Philippines to regulate treasure-hunting
Philippine Inquirer, 27 Dec 2007
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