Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Indonesian New Guinea Inhabited For More Than Ten Thousand Years

Date:
May 20, 1998
Source:
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research
Summary:
Recent excavations in the interior of the Indonesian part of New Guinea, Irian Jaya (West Irian), have shown that people have lived there since the end of the Pleistocene epoch, in other words for at least ten thousand years.

Recent excavations in the interior of the Indonesian part of New Guinea, Irian Jaya (West Irian), have shown that people have lived there since the end of the Pleistocene epoch, in other words for at least ten thousand years. The excavations, by archaeologists from the University of Groningen, took place in the lake area of Ayamaru on the Vogelkop peninsula. The expedition formed part of the interdisciplinary Irian Jaya Studies programme run by the NWO.

Related Articles


The fieldwork was carried out in 1995 by researchers from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Groningen. They discovered prehistoric habitation strata in two caves (Kria and Toe), finding both tools and the remains of meals consumed there (bones, shells, egg shells). The bones included those of small kangaroos, cuscuses (marsupial "monkeys"), the cassowary bird, fish and snakes. These are somewhat similar to finds made during excavations in Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia. The remains of at least two humans were also found but there were no signs of ritual burial.

Among the more notable finds were dozens of bone "needles" or fish hooks, which have also been found in other parts of Indonesia and in Australia. Hundreds of stone tools were also excavated; these seem to have been used mainly for processing animals the hunters had killed. The archaeologists were also surprised to find a large quantity of red and yellow ochre, but thorough investigation failed to reveal any cave paintings.

The various finds are currently being studied. C14 dating has shown that those from the Kria cave are about 8000 years old. Dating of the material from the lowest levels within the Toe cave by means of the ESR (electron spin resonance) method is still in progress. The animal remains found in this layer indicate that the cave was inhabited at least ten thousand years ago.

Traces of humans dating from around 40 thousand years ago have been found in independent Papua New Guinea, suggesting that the Indonesian part of the island was also inhabited during the Pleistocene. Proof of this assumption is now beginning to emerge.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. "Indonesian New Guinea Inhabited For More Than Ten Thousand Years." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980520081951.htm>.
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. (1998, May 20). Indonesian New Guinea Inhabited For More Than Ten Thousand Years. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980520081951.htm
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. "Indonesian New Guinea Inhabited For More Than Ten Thousand Years." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980520081951.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fossil Treasures at Risk in Morocco Desert Town

Fossil Treasures at Risk in Morocco Desert Town

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) Hundreds of archeological jewels in and around the town of 30,000 people prompt geologists and archeologists to call the Erfoud area "the largest open air fossil museum in the world". Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) A 45,000-year-old thighbone is showing when humans and neanderthals may have first interbred and revealing details about our origins. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins