Symbolic expression in Pleistocene Sahul, Sunda, and Wallacea

Langley, Michelle C., Clarkson, Chris, and Ulm, Sean (2019) Symbolic expression in Pleistocene Sahul, Sunda, and Wallacea. Quaternary Science Reviews, 221. 105883.

PDF (Accepted Author Version) - Accepted Version
Download (922kB) | Preview
[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


The pace of research undertaken in Sunda (Southeast Asia) through to Sahul (Greater Australia) has increased exponentially over the last three decades, resulting in spectacular discoveries ranging from new hominin species, significant extension to the age for first human occupation in the region, as well as the identification of what is currently the oldest known rock art in the world. These breakthroughs cast the archaeological record of complexity in Sunda, Sahul, and Wallacea in an entirely different light to that of several decades ago, placing it on an equal footingto that of Africa, Asia, and Europe. The archaeological record of these regions now points to rich and diverse early modern human (Homo sapien) societies engaged in complex symbolic and technological behaviours demonstrating capacities for innovation and self-expression found in all modern human groups now around the globe. Here we provide a comprehensive review of all Pleistocene symbolic evidence reported for Sahul, Sunda, and Wallacea to date. We explore how recent findings have changed our perceptions of the first modern human colonists and our understanding of the origins and development of the rich and diverse cultures that arose in each region through time.

Item ID: 59887
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-457X
Keywords: cognition; ornamentation; art; information exchange; colourants; modern human; modern human behaviour
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CE170100015), ARC Future Fellowship (FT120100656), ARC DECRA (DE170101076), ARC Future Fellowship (FT160100242)
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2019 02:23
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history > 450101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander archaeology @ 40%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430102 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 30%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4513 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history > 451301 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 342
Last 12 Months: 63
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page