Foraging-farming transitions at the Niah Caves, Sarawak, Borneo

  title={Foraging-farming transitions at the Niah Caves, Sarawak, Borneo},
  author={Graeme Barker and Lindsay Lloyd-Smith and Huw Barton and Franca Cole and Chris Hunt and Philip J. Piper and Ryan Rabett and Victor Paz and Katherine Szabό},
  pages={492 - 509}
The Niah Caves in Sarawak, Borneo, have captured evidence for people and economies of 8000 and 4000 years ago. Although not continuous on this site, these open two windows on to life at the cultural turning point, broadly equivalent to the transition from Mesolithic to Neolithic. They have much in common, inferring that the occupants, perhaps belonging to an older maritime dispersal, had a choosy appetite for the Neolithic package. 

Was there once a Zone of Vegeculture Linking Melanesia with Northeast India ?

The ancient vegecultural systems of Melanesia and the rice-dominated agriculture of mainland and island SE Asia presently appear to be worlds apart. In particular, models of the Neolithic on the

Foraging–Farming Transitions in Island Southeast Asia

The origins of agriculture have been debated by archaeologists for most of the discipline’s history, no more so than in Island Southeast Asia. The orthodox view is that Neolithic farmers spread south

Early agriculture in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

This chapter explores the complex relationship between agriculture and urbanism, from its central role enabling the development of larger and denser settlements over time, to varying strategies and

The Philippines fromc.14,000 to 4,000 cal.bpin Regional Context

In this paper, we review the current Philippine archaeological record between c. 14,000 and 4000 cal.bpin the context of our developing understanding of human adaptation to post-glacial environments


Excavations in 1928 at the Binjai Tamieng shell midden in Northeast Sumatra brought to light a small assemblage of animal- and human remains that has never been studied in detail. The analysis of

The West Mouth Neolithic Cemetery, Niah Cave, Sarawak

Excavations between 1954 and 1967 in the West Mouth, Niah Cave (Sarawak) uncovered the largest Neolithic cemetery in South-east Asia with over 150 burials. Subsequent work at the site in the 1970s



Terminal Pleistocene to mid-Holocene occupation and an early cremation burial at Ille Cave, Palawan, Philippines

Excavations at a cave site on the island of Palawan in the Philippines show occupation from c. 11000 BP. A fine assemblage of tools and faunal remains shows the reliance of hunter-foragers switching

An Integrated Perspective On The Austronesian Diaspora: The Switch from Cereal Agriculture to Maritime Foraging in the Colonisation of Island Southeast Asia

Abstract This paper reviews the archaeological evidence for maritime interaction spheres in Island Southeast Asia during the Neolithic and preceding millennia. It accepts that cereal agriculture was

The dating of the Island Southeast Asian Neolithic: an attempt at chronometric hygiene and linguistic correlation

As with conventional definitions of the Neolithic anywhere, the concept in this region relies on there being an agricultural economy, the traces of which are largely indirect. These traces are

Reconstructing Human Subsistence in the West Mouth (Niah Cave, Sarawak) Burial Series Using Stable Isotopes of Carbon

The human burial series from the West Mouth of Niah Cave (Sarawak) offers a unique opportunity to explore prehistoric subsistence patterns in lowland tropical rainforest. Over 200 primary and


Rice is the staple food of approximately half the world's population with 90% of global production concentrated in the Far East (F. A.O. 1968: 1-3). There is, however, a paucity of direct

Farmers and Their Languages: The First Expansions

This work discusses the main complications and specific examples involving 15 language families involved in the geographically uneven rise of food production around the world and their resulting shifts of populations and languages.

The Social Landscape of Rice within Vegecultural Systems in Borneo

  • Huw Barton
  • Environmental Science
    Current Anthropology
  • 2009
The papers by Hayden (2009, in this issue) and Pearsall (2009, in this issue) highlight the importance of our understanding, to quote Pearsall, of the social landscapes in which early agriculture and