Researchers have uncovered prehistoric art and ornaments from the Indonesian ‘Ice Age’—4 April 2017

ARC-funded archaeologists at Griffith University are part of a joint Indonesian-Australian team that has unearthed a rare collection of prehistoric art and ‘jewellery’ objects from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, dating in some instances to as early as 30,000 years ago, shedding new light on ‘Ice Age’ human culture and symbolism.

The study—co-led by ARC Future Fellow, Associate Professor Adam Brumm, and Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) recipient, Dr Michelle Langley—has recovered artefacts consisting of disc-shaped beads made from a babirusa (‘pig-deer’) tooth and a pendant fashioned from the bone of a bear cuscus (a large and primitive possum-like marsupial found only on Sulawesi), as well as ‘portable’ art objects: stones incised with geometric patterns, the meaning of which is unknown, and a bone tube that may have been a ‘blow-pipe’ for creating hand stencil motifs.

Their findings and analysis are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Media issued by: Griffith University.


Image: Griffith University archaeologists Associate Professor Adam Brumm, who with Indonesian colleagues led the excavations that yielded the new findings, and Dr Michelle Langley, who analysed the recovered ornaments and art objects.
Image Credit: Griffith University.

Original Published Date: 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017