kottke.org posts about indonesia

40,000 year-old cave paintings found in IndonesiaOct 08 2014

Sulawesi Cave Paintings

Paintings in a cave in Indonesia have been dated to 40,000 years ago, as old or older than any paintings found in Europe.

For decades, the only evidence of ancient cave art was in Spain and southern France. It led some to believe that the creative explosion that led to the art and science we know today began in Europe.

But the discovery of paintings of a similar age in Indonesia shatters this view, according to Prof Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London.

"It is a really important find; it enables us to get away from this Euro-centric view of a creative explosion that was special to Europe and did not develop in other parts of the world until much later," he said.

The discovery of 40,000-year-old cave paintings at opposite ends of the globe suggests that the ability to create representational art had its origins further back in time in Africa, before modern humans spread across the rest of the world.

"That's kind of my gut feeling," says Prof Stringer. "The basis for this art was there 60,000 years ago; it may even have been there in Africa before 60,000 years ago and it spread with modern humans".

Photos of the absurdly polluted Citarum RiverJun 06 2007

Photos of the absurdly polluted Citarum River in Indonesia. "Their occupants no longer try to fish. It is more profitable to forage for rubbish they can salvage and trade -- plastic bottles, broken chair legs, rubber gloves -- risking disease for one or two pounds a week if they are lucky."

Even though avian flu is under controlMay 22 2006

Even though avian flu is under control in some areas of Southeast Asia, Indonesia "has witnessed more bird flu deaths than any other country in 2006".

Further discovery of Homo floresiensis bonesOct 13 2005

Further discovery of Homo floresiensis bones have strengthened researchers' argument that the so-called Hobbit is a new and distinct human species. More on Flores man at Nature, which is doing a weekly podcast now.

Tags related to indonesia:
archaeology Indonesia

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