The late Quaternary history of Sumatra has experienced relatively little attention compared to that of the other large islands in the Indonesian archipelago. The first reports of fossils from the island date to the 1880s; they were discovered largely through the efforts of Dubois in the caves of the Padang Highlands. Following these efforts, focus shifted in the 1920s and 1930s to the archaeological records of the midden deposits of northern Sumatra and the Hoabinhian cultures preserved therein. There was little new fieldwork between 1940 and 1970, but by the mid-1970s several new campaigns seemed to herald a renewed interest in the history and prehistory of the island. This enthusiasm does not appear to have been sustained, however, and work was intermittent again in the 1980s and 1990s. Beginning in the mid-1990s and extending into the first two decades of the twenty-first century, more work at existing sites and new investigations have both taken place, extending our knowledge of both the deep-time and more recent history of the island. The application of new techniques on existing sites and the exploration and excavation of new sites are making an increasingly significant contribution to understanding the role of Sumatra in human biological and cultural evolution.

, , , , , ,
ANU Press

Released under the CC-BY 4.0 ("Attribution 4.0 International") License

Staff publications

Julien Louys, Albers, P., van der Geer, A., & de Vos, J. (2024). Quaternary Palaeontology and Archaeology of Sumatra. ANU Press. doi:10.22459/ta56.2024