UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Forty-thousand years of maritime subsistence near a changing shoreline on Alor Island (Indonesia)

Kealy, S; O'Connor, S; Mahirta; Sari, DM; Shipton, C; Langley, MC; Boulanger, C; ... Louys, J; + view all (2020) Forty-thousand years of maritime subsistence near a changing shoreline on Alor Island (Indonesia). Quaternary Science Reviews , 249 , Article 106599. 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106599. Green open access

[thumbnail of Kealy et al 2020 Makpan QSR.pdf]
Preview
Text
Kealy et al 2020 Makpan QSR.pdf - Published Version

Download (5MB) | Preview

Abstract

We report archaeological findings from a significant new cave site on Alor Island, Indonesia, with an in situ basal date of 40,208–38,454 cal BP. Twenty thousand years older than the earliest Pleistocene site previously known from this island, Makpan retains dense midden deposits of marine shell, fish bone, urchin and crab remains, but few terrestrial species; demonstrating that protein requirements over this time were met almost exclusively from the sea. The dates for initial occupation at Makpan indicate that once Homo sapiens moved into southern Wallacea, settlement of the larger islands in the archipelago occurred rapidly. However, the Makpan sequence also suggests that the use of the cave following initial human arrival was sporadic prior to the terminal Pleistocene about 14,000 years ago, when occupation became intensive, culminating in the formation of a midden. Like the coastal sites on the larger neighbouring island of Timor, the Makpan assemblage shows that maritime technology in the Pleistocene was highly developed in this region. The Makpan assemblage also contains a range of distinctive personal ornaments made on Nautilus shell, which are shared with sites located on Timor and Kisar supporting connectivity between islands from at least the terminal Pleistocene. Makpan’s early inhabitants responded to sea-level change by altering the way they used both the site and local resources. Marine food exploitation shows an initial emphasis on sea-urchins, followed by a subsistence switch to molluscs, barnacles, and fish in the dense middle part of the sequence, with crabs well represented in the later occupation. This new record provides further insights into early modern human movements and patterns of occupation between the islands of eastern Nusa Tenggara from ca. 40 ka.

Type: Article
Title: Forty-thousand years of maritime subsistence near a changing shoreline on Alor Island (Indonesia)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106599
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106599
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Pleistocene-holocene transition, Sea-level changes, Island southeast asia, Geomorphology, Pleistocene colonisation, Wallacea, Fishhooks, Maritime subsistence, Uplift, EARLY HUMAN OCCUPATION, FORAGING RESPONSES, EARLY SETTLEMENT, HUMAN DISPERSAL, INDIAN-OCEAN, TIMOR-LESTE, CORAL-REEF, SEA, AUSTRALIA, COLONIZATION
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118370
Downloads since deposit
37Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item