Lene Kici Cave Art: Possible Symbolic Evidence Associated with Palaeolithic Human Occupation in Timor-Leste

Date
2021-05-28
Authors
Garcia_Diez, Marcos
Standish, Chrisopher D
Oliviera, Nuno Vasco
O'Connor, Sue
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Abstract
Hand stencils are the oldest manifestations of Palaeolithic cave art. Recent archaeological field research in the Tutuala region of Timor-Leste has documented new archaeological sites at the Lene Kici caves that include Palaeolithic hand motifs and other nonfigurative motifs including a disk, dots, a triangle, and possible other geometric shapes. This study characterizes the production techniques, shapes, composition, and spatial locations of these motifs. Based on the available information and regional context, a Pleistocene chronology is considered highly probable. The context of the hand stencils suggests they were not occasional motifs; rather, they seem to have dominated the early graphic repertoire of the earliest settler groups in Southeast Asia and the islands of Wallacea.
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cave art, hand stencils, chronology, Upper Palaeolithic, Timor-Leste, Southeast Asia
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