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Ref ID: 37327
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Albers, Paul C. H.
Title: An expedition in colonial times:
Some notes regarding Dubois’
fieldwork in Sumatra
Date: 2024
Source: Quaternary Palaeontology and Archaeology of Sumatra
Abstract: When Dubois travelled to Sumatra, Indonesia had already been under Dutch colonial rule for almost 300 years. This obviously had implications and benefits for Dubois and his expedition. By enlisting in the army—following the example of Junghuhn—he was able to obtain government
support for his plans. Without such support, he could never have financed the expedition. His army status gave him the advantage of being on speaking terms with high government officials, and being assigned convicts enabled him to get the laborious work done cheaply. (Of course, the use of convict labour was not limited to the colonies.) Dubois was appreciative of the support he received from local people. His trust was not always reciprocated, however—but the biggest difficulty was health. In particular, Dubois and the soldiers and local people who worked for him suffered from malaria. As a physician, Dubois endeavoured to take care of his employees’ health, but he could not prevent one of his sergeants from dying. Despite the adversities—and contrary to Dubois’ own perception—
his Sumatra expedition was hugely successful.
Editors: Louys, Julien
Albers, Paul C. H.
Van der Geer, Alexandra A. E.
Page Start: 61
Page End: 76