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 November 20, 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 November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

US Returns Looted Artifacts to Thailand

US Returns Looted Artifacts to Thailand

AFP (Nov. 19, 2014) — The United States has returns over 500 vases, bowls, axes, and other ancient artifacts mostly from the Ban Chiang archaeological site which were illegally looted from Thailand decades ago. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Search Through Every Public Tweet Sent Since 2006

How To Search Through Every Public Tweet Sent Since 2006

Newsy (Nov. 19, 2014) — Twitter has announced improvements to its search index that allow users to search through every public tweet sent since its inception in 2006. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Unlocks the Mystery of Paintings

Professor Unlocks the Mystery of Paintings

AP (Nov. 19, 2014) — Richard Johnson, a computer and engineering professor at Cornell University, is using technology to uncover mysteries about the age and authenticity of historic paintings by artists like Johannes Vermeer and Vincent Van Gogh. (Nov. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Napoleon Memorabilia to Be Sold at Auction

Napoleon Memorabilia to Be Sold at Auction

AFP (Nov. 14, 2014) — Napoleon's personal possessions, including his iconic cocked hat, are being auctioned off this weekend at a special sale at Fontainebleau Castle. Buyers are expected to bid hundreds of thousands or even millions of euros. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
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