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Ref ID: 37328
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Drawhorn, Gerrell M.
Title: Dubois and beyond: The historical background of cave exploration in Sumatra
Date: 2024
Source: Quaternary Palaeontology and Archaeology of Sumatra
Abstract: Although references to cave discovery and exploration on the island of Sumatra are sparse and intermittent, they are not entirely absent. The human use of caves in Sumatra can be divided into five phases: 1) an initial period of use of caves as shelters or burial sites; 2) exploitation by indigenous populations for birds’ nests, guano and saltpetre; 3) the Dutch colonial period, in which caves were identified and explored, culminating in the excavations of Eugène Dubois from 1888–90; 4) followed by a decline of interest in the exploration of caves except as objects of curiosity and tourism; and
5) in the 1970s, sporadic scientific research in Sumatra’s caves resumed, with a pronounced upsurge
of interest during the new millennium. A historical review of these phases of exploration provides not only important context and insights for understanding the rationale behind Dubois’ expeditions but also important clues about why there was a decline in archaeological and palaeontological
research until the recent renaissance.
Editors: Louys, Julien
Albers, Paul C. H.
Van der Geer, Alexandra A. E.
Page Start: 78
Page End: 97