Liang Pemalawan was located during the 2010 archaeological survey conducted by J.M. Chazine and F.X. Ricaut. Many remains, found directly on the ground, were collected during the first visit to Liang Pemalawan (earthenware potsherds, lithic artifacts, funeral gifts, metal, and faunal remains). These first results suggested the regular and ancient frequentation of the site, and its archaeological potential.
Liang Pemalawan rock shelter (N1°32’5.84″ E117°18’15.67″) is a vast shelter facing west-northwest, opening 500 m east of the left bank of the Lesan River (Kelai River catchment) at the foot of a karstic massif belonging to the tertiary Oligocene landforms of the Mangkalihat peninsula. This site is included in the group of the so-called “Merapun caves”, which includes Liang Abu rock shelter (7.5 km southeast).
Liang Pemalawan is an erosive formation of karstic origin which extends on a roughly south-north axis, about 20 m long and 12 m wide (maximum), between the break of the steep slope and the back wall.
Planimetric excavations in squares D7 and E7 were conducted, and two test pits revealed 3 stratigraphic units (US1, US2, and US3). However, only 50 cm were excavated before a mass of fallen blocks was reached. Datation of a charcoal at the bottom of US3 in contact with the rocks gave a date of 720 +/-30 BP (BETA- 353017).
Several archaeological remains have been identified: lithic industries (482 artifacts), earthenware potsherds (504 artifacts), bones (faunal and human), teeth, terrestrial gastropod shell and shellfish (3 kg, around 5000 fragments), charcoal, ocher nodules and two metallic objects found on the surface.
Many traces of recent human occupation were present on the surface (metal boxes containing glass and bone beads, and bracelets in metal. In addition, Chinese porcelain, dated from the 19th and 20th centuries, are probably associated to the remains of sepulture (lungun).
Citation: Ricaut F.-X., Grenet M., Plutniak S. and the MAFBO team. « Liang Pemalawan rock shelter presentation ». Online on 12th June 2015. http://kaltim.hypotheses.org