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Title: Early human symbolic behavior in the Late Pleistocene of Wallacea
Contributor(s): Brumm, Adam (author); Langley, Michelle C (author); Sardi, Ratno (author); Jusdi, Andi (author); Abdullah, (author); Mubarak, Andi Pampang (author); Hasliana, (author); Hasrianti, (author); Oktaviana, Adhi Agus (author); Adhityatama, Shinatria (author); van den Bergh, Gerrit D (author); Aubert, Maxime (author); Moore, Mark  (author)orcid ; Zhao, Jian-xin (author); Huntley, Jillian (author); Li, Bo (author); Roberts, Richard G (author); Saptomo, E Wahyu (author); Perston, Yinika (author); Grun, Rainer (author); Hakim, Budianto (author); Ramli, Muhammad (author); Sumantri, Iwan (author); Burhan, Basran (author); Saiful, Andi Muhammad (author); Siagian, Linda (author); Suryatman, (author)
Publication Date: 2017
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1619013114
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Abstract: Wallacea, the zone of oceanic islands separating the continental regions of Southeast Asia and Australia, has yielded sparse evidence for the symbolic culture of early modern humans. Here we report evidence for symbolic activity 30,000-22,000 y ago at Leang Bulu Bettue, a cave and rock-shelter site on the Wallacean island of Sulawesi. We describe hitherto undocumented practices of personal ornamentation and portable art, alongside evidence for pigment processing and use in deposits that are the same age as dated rock art in the surrounding karst region. Previously, assemblages of multiple and diverse types of Pleistocene "symbolic" artifacts were entirely unknown from this region. The Leang Bulu Bettue assemblage provides insight into the complexity and diversification of modern human culture during a key period in the global dispersal of our species. It also shows that early inhabitants of Sulawesi fashioned ornaments from body parts of endemic animals, suggesting modern humans integrated exotic faunas and other novel resources into their symbolic world as they colonized the biogeographically unique regions southeast of continental Eurasia.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Grant Details: ARC/DP1093342
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(16), p. 4105-4110
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1091-6490
Field of Research (FOR): 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas
210102 Archaeological Science
210199 Archaeology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
950502 Understanding Asia's Past
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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