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15 April 2013
Art, bodies found in ancient Indonesian caves

Professor Truman Simanjuntak from the Jakarta-based National Research and Development Center for Archaeology is part of a group excavating Harimau ("Tiger") Cave in Sumatra, which has yielded "some very, very impressive finds", including the first example of rock art in Sumatra and the discovery of 66 human burials dating back about 3000 years.
     "Sixty-six is very strange," Professor Simanjuntak said. "It means that this cave was occupied intensely by humans and they continued to occupy it for a very, very long time. There is still occupation traces deeper and deeper in the cave, where we have not excavated yet. So it means the cave is very promising."
     Professor Simanjuntak said the cave was one of many in the area. "Up to now we have encountered up to 50 caves in the area and most of the caves contain archaeological evidence. It means that at that time, this area had been intensively occupied by humans. They lived in community in each cave, maybe around 10 or 20 families, and they had contact with each other," he added.
     There are also plant and animal remains like chickens, dogs and pigs, suggesting these people had been domesticated rather than nomadic.

Edited from Illawarra Mercury (11 April 2013)

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