Indonesian archeologists survey the Meratus Mountains (South Kalimantan)

EurASEAA poster on Meratus surveys
EurASEAA poster on Meratus surveys (click to enlarge)

For some years, our colleagues from Balai Arkeologi of Banjar Baru (Regional Office for the Archaeology of all Kalimantan provinces) conducted surveys and testpits in the region of the Meratus mountains, in South Kalimantan. Their work contributed to a better knowledge of the distribution of archeological sites in Kalimantan, which unfortunately are under documented.

Depuis quelques années, nos collègues du Balai Arkeologi de Banjar Baru (le service régional d’archéologie pour l’ensemble des provinces de Kalimantan) effectuent des prospections et des sondages archéologiques dans la région des monts Meratus, à Kalimantan sud. Leur travail contribue utilement à préciser notre connaissance de la répartition des sites archéologiques à Kalimantan, qui comporte encore malheureusement de nombreuses zones non documentées.

Bambang Sugiyanto [see his ResearchGate page]and Restu Budi Sulistiyo two researchers from Balai Arkeologi, Banjar Baru, have recently presented some of their results at the 15th EurASEAA conference, that took place at the University of Nanterre (France, 6-10 of July 2015, see our report). They kindly accepted that we publish a copy of their poster and of its abstract on the MAFBO blog.

Bambang Sugiyanto [page ResearchGate] et Restu Budi Sulistiyo, deux chercheurs du Balai Arkeologi de Banjar Baru, ont récemment pu présenter quelques résultats de ces travaux à la 15e conférence de l’Association européenne des archéologues du sud-est asiatique (EurASEAA), qui s’est tenu à l’université de Nanterre, en France du 6 au 10 juillet 2015 (voir notre compte-rendu). Ils ont aimablement accepté que nous publions une copie de leur poster et du résumé sur le blog du projet MAFBO.

Archaeological surveys and Human occupation in the Meratus mountains (South Kalimantan, Indonesia)

Since 1995 and the excavations at Gua Babi and Gua Tangkorak (1995-1999), the Archaeological Institute of Banjarmasin (Indonesia) have undertook extensive archaeological survey in the Meratus mountains range of South Borneo (south Kalimantan province, Indonesia). Human prehistory in this region is poorly documented and understood, mainly due to exploration difficulties in this karstic region. Twenty years of survey have led to the discoveries of dozens of caves and shelters, some with rock art paintings and burials dating back to at least the early Holocene. Archaeological data are sufficient to start a preliminary comparison of the archaeological findings between the different region of the Meratus mountains. This poster aims to display the preliminary results of the Archaeological surveys of the karstic region of the Meratus mountains of South Borneo.

Prospections archéologique et occupations humaines dans les monts Meratus (Kalimantan sud, Indonésie)

Depuis les fouilles de Gua Babi et de Gua Tangkorak, de 1995 à 1999, le service archéologie de Banjarmasin a entrepris des prospections extensive dans les monts Meratus a sud de Bornéo (Province de Kalimantan sud, Indonésie). La préhistoire humaine est faiblement documentée et comprise dans cette région, principalement du fait des difficultés de l’exploration dans cette zone karstique. Vingt années de prospection ont conduit à la découverte de dizaines de grottes et d’abris, certaines renfermant des peintures rupestres ou des sépultures datables du début de l’Holocène. Les données archéologiques sont suffisantes pour entamée une comparaison préliminaire entre les résultats obtenus dans les différents secteurs des monts Meratus. Ce poster rend compte des premiers résultats de ces prospections.

(French translation by S. Plutniak)

“Austronesian westward expansion: the settlement of Madagascar by Indonesian sea nomad group” (@15th EurASEAA)

Austronesian westward expansion: the settlement of Madagascar by Indonesian sea nomad groups

Pradiptajati Kusuma (University of Toulouse – Paul Sabatier), Francois-Xavier Ricaut (Université de Toulouse (Paul Sabatier) – CNRS UMR 5288), Murray Cox, Thierry Letellier

Genetic, cultural, and linguistic characteristics of the Malagasy suggest that people from both Africa and Island Southeast Asia were involved in the colonization of Madagascar. Populations from the Indonesian archipelago played an important role; linguistic evidence suggests that the Malagasy language branches from the Southeast Barito language family of southern Borneo, Indonesia, and is closest to the Ma’anyan language that is spoken in the present-day. There is also evidence of word borrowings from a small number of Austronesian languages spoken on other Indonesian islands, including Proto South Sulawesi, Buginese, Macassarese and Old Javanese.

To test for a genetic link between the Malagasy and these linguistically related Indonesian populations, we studied these populations, well-defined from their historical/linguistic contexts, together with new samples from the Ma’anyan and the sea nomad Bajo from Southeast Sulawesi. The sample size of ~2900 individuals represents the largest known Indonesian dataset investigated to date. Analysis was made using uniparental markers: the mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome.

Phylogeography analysis of maternal and paternal DNA lineages suggested that the Malagasy was derived from multiple regional sources in Indonesia, with a focus on eastern Borneo, southern Sulawesi and the Lesser Sunda islands. Settlement may have been mediated by ancient sea nomad movements because the linguistically closest population, Ma’anyan, has only subtle genetic connections to the Malagasy, whereas genetic links with other sea nomads are more strongly supported. Our data hint at a more complex scenario for the Indonesian settlement of Madagascar than has previously been recognized.