New painted rock art sites in Alor Island, Eastern Indonesia, support a diversity of artistic traditions in the Late Holocene

Pratiwi Yuwono, Mahirta Mahirta, Susan O'Connor, Shimona Kealy, Adam Black, Stuart Hawkins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper describes recently discovered painted rock art in two archaeological site complexes, Tron Bon Lei shelters 1 and 2 and the cave sites of Ba Lei 1 and 3, located in the south-west of Alor Island, eastern Indonesia. Tron Bon Lei contains panels that include positive hand prints, anthropomorphs, boats and geometric designs, all painted in red pig- ment, while Ba Lei contains predominantly white geometric paintings. The Tron Bon Lei red paintings share similarities with rock art in other parts of eastern Indonesia and Timor-Leste, supporting the hypothesis that this region was a culturally and ideologically interconnected maritime province in the late Holocene. However, the white rock art at Ba Lei is quite distinct in terms of style of execution suggesting that the full range of symbolic and cultural diversity has yet to be fully revealed in the rock art of eastern Indonesia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    JournalRock Art Research
    Volume37
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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