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Ideology, Ritual Performance and Its Manifestations in the Rock Art of Timor-Leste and Kisar Island, Island Southeast Asia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 December 2017

Sue O'Connor
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology and Natural History, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australiasue.oconnor@anu.edu.au
Mahirta
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesiamahirta@ugm.ac.id
Daud Tanudirjo
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesiatanudirjo_da@yahoo.com
Marlon Ririmasse
Affiliation:
Maluku Archaeological Research Office, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ambon, Indonesiaririmasse@yahoo.com
Muhammad Husni
Affiliation:
Maluku Archaeological Research Office, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ambon, Indonesiahusni_arkeo@yahoo.com
Shimona Kealy
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology and Natural History, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australiashimona.kealy@anu.edu.au
Stuart Hawkins
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology and Natural History, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australiastuart.hawkins@anu.edu.au
Alifah
Affiliation:
Archaeological Research Office of Yogyakarta, Jl. Gedongkuning no. 174, Yogyakarta, Indonesiaalifah.ali@gmail.com

Abstract

Painted rock art occurs throughout the islands of the Western Pacific and has previously been argued to have motif and design elements in common, indicating that it was created within the context of a shared symbolic system. Here we report five new painted rock-art sites from Kisar Island in eastern Indonesia and investigate the commonalities between this art and the painted art corpus in Timor-Leste, the independent nation that forms the eastern part of the neighbouring island of Timor. We examine the motifs in the Kisar art and suggest that, rather than being Neolithic in age, some of the figurative motifs more likely have a Metal Age origin, which in this region places them within the last 2500 years.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research 2017 

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