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Prehistoric mother and child burial unearthed in Sumatran cave

The National Archaeology Team discovered fossilized skeletons of a prehistoric mother and child buried in a burrow inside the Harimau Cave, a prehistoric site in Padang Bindu Village, Ogan Komering Ulu District, South Sumatra.

Prehistoric mother and child burial unearthed in Sumatran cave
Excavations at Harimau Cave [Credit: Republika Online]
"It is a very interesting discovery, and has a very touching story as the skeletons were found with the mother hugging her child on top of her belly," Archaeologist Truman Simanjuntak remarked here on Tuesday.

The skeletons are one of the other 78 found in the Harimau cave.

According to Simanjuntak, the 78 skeletons were presumably of the Austronesia and Austromelanesid race, which existed three thousand to 14 thousand years ago.

"Or might be more around twenty thousand years ago because those buried at two meters depth were assumed to be 14 thousand years old. We have now begun digging more than four meters deep," Professor Simanjuntak stated.

Meanwhile, Head of Tourism Office of Ogan Komering Ulu District Aufa Sarkomi during his visit to Harimau Cave noted that the team of the National Archaeology Study Center will conduct DNA testing on some of the skeletons to identify their relationship to modern humans and especially with the native tribe of Ogan Komering Ulu (OKU).

The DNA testing expert will collect samples from the leg bones and teeth to extract DNA from the prehistoric human fossils.

Besides human skeletons, other historical heritage objects, such as funnel axes, ceramics, and burial objects were also discovered in the Harimau Cave.

The OKU government has secured the Harimau Cave and handed it over to the archaeology team to conduct further research and excavation.

The Harimau Cave is a prehistoric site of human dwellings and mass graves, which is located in the Putri Cave natural tourism complex of Baturaja.

The historical findings will add to the tourist attractions in OKU and are expected to increase the number of visitors to South Sumatra.

Source: Republika Online [October 11, 2014]

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