Our colleague Vida Kusmartono –formerly head of the Balai Arkeologi Banjarmasin (Kalimantan, Indonesia) and now PhD candidate in Canberra– recently presented her work about Kalimantan archaeology at the Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria, Australia.
Notre collègue Vida Kusmartono – ancienne directrice du Balai Arkeologi Banjarmasin (Kalimantan, Indonésie) et aujourd’hui doctorante à l’Australian National University – a récemment présenté les recherches archéologiques qu’elle mène dans le centre de Kalimantan à l’Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria, Australie.
Reconstructing the peopling of the deep interior of the equatorial rainforest of Kalimantan
The archaeological discoveries at Nanga Balang and Diang Kaung in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) provide data on human occupation at c. 3000 BP. On the other hand a number of investigations carried out at sites which were geodesically close to the coastal area (including Malaysian Borneo) resulted a variety of chronologies indicating late Pleistocene to late Holocene occupation. This work leads to questions about whether the deep interior of the equatorial rainforest of Kalimantan provided sufficient food resources to accommodate the hunter-gatherers to obtain their daily sustenance and survive during the pleistocene until early the holocene? What kind of human activities had occurred prior to 3000 BP? The veil of mystery was raised by a two-season excavation (2013-2014) in the upper region of the Kapuas River Basin. The radiocarbon dating of 14 charcoal samples indicated at least 6 different periods of dwelling activity, which ranged from cal BP 149 to cal BP 14992, and signified by diverse material cultures. Such chronologies would confirm an important role for such deep interior sites within the prehistory of Indonesia and Island Southeast Asia in general. Furthermore, such a record of human occupation may provide comparative data for understanding sequences of human activity in the equatorial evergreen lowland rainforest regions such as Zaire Basin and the Amazon. Vida Kusmartono is a PhD student in Archaeology at the Australian National University, Canberra