Late Pleistocene/early Holocene maritime interaction in Southeastern Indonesia - Timor Leste

Reepmeyer, Christian, O'Connor, Sue, Mahirta, , Maloney, Tim, and Kealy, Shimona (2016) Late Pleistocene/early Holocene maritime interaction in Southeastern Indonesia - Timor Leste. Journal of Archaeological Science, 76. pp. 21-30.

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Abstract

This study analysed over 1000 obsidian stone artefacts excavated from two adjoining shelters at Tron Bon Lei on Alor Island Indonesia using portable XRF. The study showed an unambiguous separation of three different source locations (Groups 1, 2 and 3). Two sources (Group 2 and 3a, b, c) dominate the assemblage numerically. Group 1 and 2 indicate use of a single volcanic formation with a strong match between Group 1 artefacts and artefacts from sites in Timor Leste. Obsidian occurs in the earliest occupation layer in the Alor sites but does not include Group 1 artefacts which occur only after approx. 12,000 cal BP. Currently the geographical location of the Group 1 outcrop is unknown, however, based on the late appearance of the Group 1 artefacts in the Alor sequence it is likely that the location is not on Alor, but rather on another island of the Sunda chain. The dating of Group 1 artefacts in widely spaced sites on the never geographically connected islands of Timor and Alor indicates that maritime interaction between islands began by at least the terminal Pleistocene. The distribution of the obsidian in Tron Bon Lei shelter Pit B shows that there were periods of more intense interaction punctuated by periods when interaction declined or ceased.

Item ID: 46284
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9238
Keywords: obsidian, Island Southeast Asia, maritime interaction, late Pleistocene
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), James Cook University
Projects and Grants: ARC DE130100046, ARC FL120100156
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2016 02:00
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950502 Understanding Asias Past @ 100%
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