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Archaeological excavations at Gua Sireh (Serian) and Lubang Angin (Gunung Mulu National Park), Sarawak, Malaysia

Ipoi Datan

Description

The initial aim of this research was to excavate only the cave of Gua Sireh in an attempt to gather data for the prehistory of western Sarawak, for which region mostly protohistoric sites have been examined so far. Though Gua Sireh was excavated by Harrisson and Solheim in 1959, their materials still await further analysis. The excavation methods, finds and tentative interpretations of the 1989 excavation are presented in this thesis. Gua Sireh appeared to have been ephemerally used...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorIpoi Datan
dc.date.accessioned2016-11-30T02:55:06Z
dc.date.available2016-11-30T02:55:06Z
dc.identifier.otherb1780455
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/110867
dc.description.abstractThe initial aim of this research was to excavate only the cave of Gua Sireh in an attempt to gather data for the prehistory of western Sarawak, for which region mostly protohistoric sites have been examined so far. Though Gua Sireh was excavated by Harrisson and Solheim in 1959, their materials still await further analysis. The excavation methods, finds and tentative interpretations of the 1989 excavation are presented in this thesis. Gua Sireh appeared to have been ephemerally used about 20,000 years ago when the site would have been about 500 kilometres inland. However, evidence for Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene occupation is limited to a few amorphous stones of quartz and chert and some freshwater shells. Pottery (some with rice temper) which appeared at Gua Sireh about 4000 BP is found to have affinities with the paddle-impressed pottery assemblages from Tanjong Kubor, Gua Bungoh and Kupang (Brunei). Some of the sherds with rice chaff temper have been submitted for AMS dating to determine when rice first appeared in the region. Human and animal bones were found throughout the pottery phase. Iron artefacts and glass beads were recovered in the upper levels, presumably deposited after 2000 years ago. Before leaving Australia to commence my fieldwork in July 1989 it was decided that a second site, Lubang Angin, be investigated as well. Lubang Angin is a limestone cave, about 610 kilometres NE of Gua Sireh, located in the Gunung Mulu National Park about 90 kilometres (as the crow flies) inland from the coast. The 1989 excavation at Lubang Angin was the first carried out in the Mulu region. The cave produced extended burials with associated burial items, similar to those found in the Niah caves which are about 160 kilometres to the southwest. These grave goods include "three-colour ware", double-spouted vessels, predominantly cord-marked earthenwares, marine bivalve shells, iron artefacts and glass beads. A c 3000 BP date on a marine shell suggests that the Lubang Angin burials, like those of the Niah caves, were probably placed between 1000 BC and AD 500. The three-colour ware and double-spouted vessels at Lubang Angin and the Niah caves were determined by neutron activation analysis to have been manufactured from more than one source of raw materials. Both sites have yielded interesting finds. Gua Sireh deserves further excavation while other caves in the Mulu reserve should be investigated.
dc.format.extentxxix, 286 leaves
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCanberra, ACT : The Australian National University
dc.rightsAuthor retains copyright
dc.subject.lcshExcavations (Archaeology) Malaysia Sarawak
dc.subject.lcshCaves Malaysia Sarawak
dc.subject.lcshSarawak Antiquities
dc.subject.lcshGua Sireh Site (Sarawak)
dc.subject.lcshLubang Angin Site (Sarawak)
dc.titleArchaeological excavations at Gua Sireh (Serian) and Lubang Angin (Gunung Mulu National Park), Sarawak, Malaysia
dc.typeThesis (Masters sub-thesis)
local.contributor.supervisorBellwood, Peter S.
dcterms.valid1990
local.type.degreeMaster by research (Masters)
dc.date.issued1990
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d7635a5002d1
dc.date.updated2016-11-29T00:03:46Z
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
dcterms.licenseThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.mintdoimint
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