Accepted paper:

Stone artefact technology of Tronbon Lei Rockshelter, Alor Island, Nusa tenggara Timur, Indonesia


Mahirta Mahirta (Univ. Gadjah Mada)
Sue O'Connor (The Australian National University)

Paper short abstract:

Characters of stone artefact technology of Tronbon Lei Rockshelter back from c. 9,000 BP are examined. Specific purpose is to interpret technological aspects such as mode and sequence of stone reduction in relation with the use of three different raw materials.

Paper long abstract:

Tronbon Lei rockshelter complex, occupied since c.9,000 BP, is located on the southern coast of Alor Island, Nusa Tenggara. On some of the rockshelter walls , rock paintings can be found in red and white colour. Stone artefact was found from the surface to nearly the bed rock where human skulls were found.

There are three different materials modified as stone tools. Obsidian was the earliest material used since the earliest period of occupancy, while basalt was used later. Both of there material were used continuously while chert, was used only occasionally. Geologically those three raw materials is possible to obtain from Alor itself, but the location of obsidian and chert sources were not identified yet in the field during the research.

Examination of stone assemblage recovered from three pits excavated is directed to obtain data about some technological aspect of stone artefact production, i.e: mode and sequences of stone reduction and secondary working. Multi directional core reduction were both applied to obsidian and basalt material, and small obsidian raw material was reduced in bipolar reduction technique. The latter technique was not applied to basalt raw material, in which the average size of flakes is bigger than those of obsidian. Cherts only occur in small quantity and they are mostly of small thin debris, suggesting that the chert recovered were part of secondary process of stone tool production. Current examination of the stone assemblage suggests that different techniques of stone tools production were applied by people occupied Tronbon Lei in the past.

panel P16
Lithic technologies in Southeast Asia