The rock art of Kisar Island, Indonesia: A small island with a wealth and diversity of artistic expression

Susan O'Connor, Shimona Kealy, Adam Black, Marlon Ririmasse, Mahirta Mahirta, Stuart Hawkins, Muhammad Husni, Daud Tanudirjo, Alifah Alifah, Lucas Wattimena, Wuri Handoko, Muham-mad Al Mujabuddawat

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We report 40 recently discovered rock art sites from Kisar Island in eastern Indonesia and investigate the commonalities between this art and painted art in other islands of Indonesia and in Timor-Leste. Predominantly painted, the art can be broadly divided into three categories: 1) small figurative motifs including humans, animals, boats and items of material culture, 2) a range of geometrics, both curvilinear and rectilinear, and 3) hand and arm stencils. On the ba-sis of geological features and weathering we suggest that the Kisar paintings span a consider-able period of time, from the Pleistocene through to the Indonesian historic period. We argue that the oldest paintings in the Kisar repertoire are some of the red pigment hand and arm stencils. The small figurative motifs such as the anthropomorphs and some of the geometrics are remarkably similar to those featured in the rock art assemblages of nearby Timor-Leste, and at a number of locations throughout eastern Indonesia. One site with an engraved motif carved into a stalagmite formation was also recorded.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-51
    JournalJournal of Island and Coastal Archaeology
    Volume44
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The rock art of Kisar Island, Indonesia: A small island with a wealth and diversity of artistic expression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this