Borneo - Memory of the Caves


Link to Full Text

Download Full Text

Publication Date

January 2010


In this exceptional scientific adventure up rivers in the heart of the wild tropical rainforest of Borneo, the authors discover an unexpected rock art site more than 10,000 years old during some twelve expeditions to remote caves. Conducted by Luc-Henri Fage, speleologist and photographer; Jean-Michel Chazine, archaeologist; and Pindi Setiawan, their Indonesian partner from the Bandung Institute of Technology, this research unveils a forgotten culture, lost within remote labyrinthine limestone peaks, which sheds new light on Southeast Asian prehistory. Borneo: Memory of the Caves is the account of an extraordinary adventure, told by the protagonists who made the exceptional discovery of the rock art murals of Kalimantan which are over ten thousand years old. Their findings shed new light on how populations developed between Southeast Asia and Australia. Since 1988, in mission after mission, a profile of Borneo's ancient populations has emerged, suggesting not only their similarities with the Aboriginal people of Australia, but also the particular relationships they developed with the caves, by creating rock art characterized by an abundance of negative hands. Close to two thousand such hands discovered to date allow for new interpretations of this universal motif. In this magnificently illustrated work, we discover not only the richness and complexity of an ancient region of the world, but also how today, this heritage is endangered.

Document Type