”Prehistoric human burials from East Kalimantan” (@15th EurASEAA)

Prehistoric human burials from East Kalimantan (Indonesia)

Jean-Georges Ferrié, Francois-Xavier Ricaut (Université de Toulouse (Paul Sabatier) – CNRS UMR 5288), Bambang Sugiyanto (Balai Arkeologi Banjarmasin), Jean-Michel Chazine (CNRS)

The Mission archéologique franco-indonésienne à Bornéo has conducted several test-pits in caves and rock-shelters located in karst areas of East Kalimantan (Indonesia), a region where prehistoric human occupations are poorly documented. During the survey of the site of Liang Jon (Marang river area), an individual human burial and a secondary deposit of human bones have been discovered. The individual burial is a primary inhumation of a young adult in an extended position, from which some bones have been removed after the decay of the body. The secondary deposit was mainly composed of human skull fragments, some of them showing evidence of anthropic modifications. Due to the absence of collagen, radiocarbon dating was performed on bioapatite, giving a minimum age of c. 2500 BP for the primary inhumation and c. 5500 BP for the secondary deposit. Few prehistoric burials being known in the eastern part of Borneo, these discoveries are an important contribution to the knowledge of ancient mortuary practices in this geographic area.i


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