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Ref ID: 37336
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Bonatz, Dominik
Title: Across the highlands: Ethnicity, archaeology and monuments in the lands of the Rejang, Minangkabau and Batak
Date: 2024
Source: Quaternary Palaeontology and Archaeology of Sumatra
DOI: Quaternary Palaeontology and Archaeology of Sumatra
Abstract: Since its beginnings, prehistoric archaeology in the highlands of Sumatra has been mainly concerned
with stone monuments, generally labelled as megaliths. They have survived in large quantities
in various highland regions, exhibit a variety of formal and iconic characteristics, and date to a
number of periods, from the early first millennium AD to the present. Given this spatial and
diachronic extent, the variety of megalithic forms of expression and their differing social contexts
present an important field of inquiry. In this chapter, I show how these megaliths represent cultural
developments that are intertwined with other developments in the lowlands and coastal areas of
Sumatra. Furthermore, I argue for the need to consider the megalithic remains from the perspective of the local communities in which they are nowadays embedded. Major ethnic groups in the highlands of Sumatra, such as the Rejang, Minangkabau and Batak, attach different values to their megalithic heritage. In archaeology, it is very helpful to make use of these values when prehistoric monuments are reviewed from a historical perspective.
Editors: Louys, Julien
Albers, Paul C. H.
Van der Geer, Alexandra A. E.
Page Start: 253
Page End: 279