The old­est cave art in the world

Con­tem­po­rary artist Craig Kraft wanted to see first-hand the rock art found at Su­lawesi in In­done­sia. Here he re­counts his ad­ven­tures to reach the old­est cave paint­ings in the world and how they af­fected his own work

Timeless Travels Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Pre­vi­ous page: Char­coal fig­ure draw­ings, Leang Kassi (All im­ages © Craig Kraft)

Have you ever won­dered about where the old­est marks made by Homo sapi­ens might be? Have you ever been lit­er­ally ob­sessed by your own cu­rios­ity? Can you imag­ine your­self un­able to stop read­ing, look­ing at pho­tos and mak­ing wild plans to in­ves­ti­gate your cu­riosi­ties first hand – even if it's in a trop­i­cal jungle half­way around the world?

Well, be care­ful what you wish for; it’s not go­ing to be easy and it may very well be dan­ger­ous! If I had known how dif­fi­cult it would be, I would never have gone. But, I did go, and some­how sur­vived to tell the story.

The ob­jec­tive of this trip to Su­lawesi, In­done­sia, was to gather in­for­ma­tion for my writ­ing, art mak­ing and teach­ing. I wanted to ex­pe­ri­ence first­hand the an­cient marks, draw­ings and paint­ings found in the pri­mor­dial caves of Su­lawesi. These marks and draw­ings have re­cently been re-dated to be nearly 40,000 years old, and some of them are now be­lieved to be the old­est in the world.

Leang Jarie

I have been study­ing the hu­man urge for mark mark­ing for the past seven years. It be­gan with a re­flec­tion on my own un­con­scious mark­ings, doo­dles and draw­ings made while con­cen­trat­ing on some­thing else. This prac­tice re­sulted in my light-sculp­ture se­ries, Un­in­ten­tional Draw­ings, in which I used neon tub­ing to recre­ate my pen­cil and pen marks. A while later, I made an ex­ten­sive study of the years of over­lap­ping lay­ers of graf­fiti found all over the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarks­dale, Mis­sis­sippi. I com­bined pho­to­graphs of the club's walls, win­dows, and chairs with my own fi­nal mark of added light: a par­tially blacked- out neon tube. Think­ing more about the need to mark as a fun­da­men­tal hu­man in­stinct, I trav­elled with my com­pan­ion, Libby Har­ris to Spain and south­ern France in the sum­mer of 2015. We were ex­traor­di­nar­ily lucky to be able to visit eleven an­cient caves in this re­gion: Al­tamira, Co­valanas, El Castillo, Com­barelles, Ni­aux and Font de Guame, cul­mi­nat­ing with a pri­vate tour of Las­caux by di­rec­tor Guil­laume Columbo. Pro­foundly moved by this ex­pe­ri­ence, I be­gan to cre­ate my own draw­ings di­rectly in­spired by the signs drawn on the an­cient cave walls, es­pe­cially the ar­rows, dots and hand sten­cils. I was at­tracted to these sym­bols be­cause they are more uni­ver­sal than the an­i­mal draw­ings and paint­ings which change de­pend­ing on the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment. The signs, such as dots, lines, clav­i­forms, open an­gles, cross-hatch­ing, and es­pe­cially the hand prints, are found in an­cient caves through­out the world. I de­cided to il­lu­mi­nate these draw­ings with sim­u­lated flick­er­ing can­dle light, like the light used by those artists so long ago in the caves. My draw­ings are in­di­rectly lit from be­hind by neon tub­ing con­trolled by a pro­gram­mable trans­former. My guides had shown me that in the flick­er­ing light, rather than in the bright con­trolled light of com­mer­cial pho­to­graphs, the im­ages on the cave walls ap­pear to move, and with my il­lu­mi­nated draw­ings, I sought to recre­ate that ef­fect.

All this was well and good. But hav­ing read about the new dat­ing of the draw­ings and paint­ings in the caves of Su­lawesi, my new goal was to view these in per­son. Get­ting there proved to be no small task, as I first had to over­come a wall of bu­reau­cratic ob­fus­ca­tion and con­fu­sion.

Be­cause South Su­lawesi's an­cient caves are closely guarded and re­stricted from pub­lic view, I was first di­rected to the Min­istry of Re­search, Tech­nol­ogy and Higher Ed­u­ca­tion in Jakarta in

or­der to ob­tain a re­search per­mit. The ap­pli­ca­tion re­quired twelve doc­u­ments in­clud­ing four let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion. One of these had to be from the Am­bas­sador of In­done­sia to the United States whom I had never met. It felt as though I were ap­ply­ing for a na­tional se­cu­rity clear­ance in a for­eign land.

Af­ter three months of re­peated dis­ap­point­ments, the of­fices in In­done­sia fi­nally deter­mined that I was not a sci­en­tific re­searcher but an ed­u­ca­tor. This meant that I only needed per­mis­sion from the Head Of­fice of the Preser­va­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage of South Su­lawesi and the lo­cal gov­ern­ments where the caves are lo­cated. All of a sud­den, the closed doors had opened. Had this sim­ple change of per­cep­tion not oc­curred, I would still be study­ing Su­lawesi's an­cient art dig­i­tally here in Wash­ing­ton DC!

Once I was ap­proved I had a strong sense that I needed to go im­me­di­ately or lose the op­por­tu­nity. So af­ter an ex­cru­ci­at­ing 33 hour trip, I fi­nally ar­rived in Makas­sar, Su­lawesi.

The taxi ride to the ho­tel was an ap­pro­pri­ate in­tro­duc­tion to Su­lawesi city life. The streets were grid­locked be­tween au­to­mo­biles and mo­tor­cy­cles in a swarm of con­flicted har­mony. Turns across traf­fic were next to im­pos­si­ble with­out the help of teenage traf­fic con­trollers. Sum­moned by a few coins, these fear­less in­di­vid­u­als walked in front of on­com­ing cars, cre­at­ing a break for the cross­over. Thank­fully I didn't rent a car, or I would still be out­side the air­port stuck on a merry-go-round of end­less traf­fic jams.

We met our ex­plo­ration team: our trans­la­tor Akram Arsyad, arche­ol­o­gist Rus­tan Lebe and driver Dedy Dee. They had been co­or­di­nated by the Head Of­fice of the Preser­va­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage at Fort Rot­ter­dam, Makas­sar and sup­plied by the of­fice of the Cul­tural Her­itage at a nom­i­nal cost. The Fort Rot­ter­dam of­fice com­plex was cav­ernous and the meet­ing room aus­tere and dull with colour­less walls and min­i­mal fur­nish­ing. Con­trast­ing with the drab in­te­rior, we were greeted warmly and en­thu­si­as­ti­cally. A ba­sic plan was for­mu­lated and we agreed to be­gin the very next day. Af­ter a few days of ex­plor­ing, this en­thu­si­asm would evolve into a warm friend­ship that would be sus­tain­ing for all of us in the dif­fi­cult ter­rain we would be travers­ing to­gether.

For the next six days we met for break­fast at

the café RM Seder­hana near the en­trance to Ban­timu­rung Bu­lusa­raung Na­tional Park.

The meal con­sisted of Kopi Susu, (cof­fee with sweet­ened con­densed milk), rice, a small por­tion of fried chicken, soy and rice chips, a salted cucumber slice and chill­ies, all called Nasi

Goreng. It wasn't de­li­cious but it was prac­ti­cal, giv­ing us the en­ergy for the day's hikes and climbs. We stayed at a lo­cal ho­tel sit­u­ated in a stun­ning nat­u­ral water park that was grand in scale but ba­sic in its ameni­ties – no more hot water or AC than ab­so­lutely needed. Still, the staff were both friendly and help­ful. Each night we drove back from the caves, an hour and a half trip; ex­hausted af­ter the ar­du­ous rock climbs up the moun­tains and the hikes on loose stone and dirt walk­ways be­tween the rice fields. The weather was sti­fling with trop­i­cal hu­mid­ity and tem­per­a­tures in the 90's.

The first day out was among the most stren­u­ous. Af­ter balanc­ing on the un­even walk­ways for two miles, we ar­rived at the base of a moun­tain to face a 30-foot an­gu­lar rock climb with only a loose bam­boo rail for sup­port. We were en­ter­ing Leang Jarie: the ‘Hand Cave’. I soon be­came de­hy­drated, pant­ing for air and won­der­ing: why am I do­ing this? I could have eas­ily fainted and tum­bled down this moun­tain. Our guide team picked up on this and closed the ranks around us – no way the Amer­i­cans are dy­ing on their watch! Still, a cou­ple of times I did come very close to fall­ing down a ravine. I could not keep my bal­ance be­cause my eyes kept flood­ing with sweat that could not be wiped away. I was also plagued by ag­gra­vated hip pain from a pinched spinal nerve. But I had come all this way, and I was not go­ing to be de­terred.

De­spite the hard­ships, Leang Jarie had its re­wards. Here were the nearly 40,000-year-old hand sten­cils I had longed to see, pep­pered on the lime­stone walls. These cave draw­ings showed their age; many im­ages were faded and mostly cov­ered with cal­cite in­tru­sions, al­gae and lichen. They seemed to be dis­ap­pear­ing be­fore our eyes, and many of them ac­tu­ally are.

Su­lawesi's an­cient caves are, for the most part, ex­posed to the el­e­ments of chang­ing hu­mid­ity and in­tense tem­per­a­tures. They have also been ex­posed to van­dals. Most of the caves have high, wide-open en­trances, which makes them dif­fi­cult to pro­tect. Ap­par­ently, there is very lit­tle money al­lo­cated for their pro­tec­tion and preser­va­tion. This is very

dif­fer­ent from Europe, where the an­cient caves are un­der UNESCO su­per­vi­sion. The UNESCO ap­pli­ca­tion for Su­lawesi was sub­mit­ted in 2005, but to date no ac­tion has taken place. An­swers to con­tin­ued pe­ti­tions have been very slow in com­ing. Hope­fully, the re­cent re-cal­i­bra­tion of the true age of the draw­ings and paint­ings by Maxime Au­bert of the Place, Evo­lu­tion, and Rock Her­itage Unit at Grif­fith Univer­sity, Aus­tralia will soon en­cour­age UNESCO to cer­tify the caves as a world her­itage site.

Af­ter I had viewed dozens of hand prints of all sizes and shapes that were made by blow­ing pig­ment through a hol­low reed over a hand, the vis­ual and psy­cho­log­i­cal ef­fect started to sink into my con­scious­ness. Be­cause hand sten­cils are found through­out the world in dif­fer­ent time pe­ri­ods, they are vis­ual ev­i­dence of a uni­ver­sal hu­man urge to mark. But what do they mean? Why did peo­ple make these marks? The early Homo sapi­ens were com­mu­ni­cat­ing vis­ually not just to them­selves but, more im­por­tantly, they were con­nect­ing to some­thing out­side them­selves, most likely to a higher power for help in their ev­ery­day lives. This is the same con­clu­sion that David Lewis-Wil­liams came to in his book The Mind in the Caves as well as Jean Clottes in his The Shamans of Pre­his­tory. I had read these words prior to vis­it­ing, but it wasn’t un­til that mo­ment in the caves that the idea res­onated within me.

The trek into these caves was for me both a phys­i­cal and in­ner jour­ney, one that I felt gave me a spir­i­tual con­nec­tion to our an­cient an­ces­tors. I was not only look­ing at the an­cient past, but be­ing car­ried back to a time when draw­ing and paint­ing were sa­cred hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties. I made a silent vow that from this mo­ment for­ward my own art would be an at­tempt to con­nect to some­thing greater than my­self, some­thing out­side my­self, that I could use as a ve­hi­cle for my own ex­pres­sion.

Leang Tim­puseng

On the same day we pro­ceeded through the coun­try­side, hik­ing and climb­ing to three more cave sites: Leang Bu­rung 1 and 2 and ar­guably the most im­por­tant cave: Leang Tim­puseng. It was in Leang Tim­puseng where we saw the old­est hand print known to date and a draw­ing of a babirusa (a pig-deer) dated to ap­prox­i­mately 35,400 BC. Sig­nif­i­cantly, the pig-deer draw­ing was dated to nearly the same pe­riod as the draw­ings in the Chau­vet cave in south­ern France, the old­est fig­u­ra­tive cave art in Western Europe.

The rec­tan­gu­lar cut marks of the sam­ple taken by Maxime Au­bert in 2014 who used the sta­teof-the-art dat­ing tech­nique (Ura­nium-tho­rium) are still vis­i­ble. It was this method of dat­ing that up­dated these draw­ings age from a pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated 10,000 years old to nearly 40,000, putting South Su­lawesi in the cen­tre of world cave art re­search. At this point, I had seen what I came all this way for, but it was only the be­gin­ning.

The cave draw­ings in Leang Tim­puseng have suf­fered from their vul­ner­a­bil­ity to the el­e­ments. In this sense, they ap­pear as old as their chrono­log­i­cal age. This was in sharp con­trast to many of the pris­tine cave draw­ings I had seen in Spain and France in 2015. In those coun­tries some of the cave draw­ings are so well pre­served they ap­pear to have been painted yes­ter­day. This is due to the nar­row open­ings, land­slide clo­sures and, as men­tioned be­fore, the se­ri­ous preser­va­tion mea­sures taken by UNESCO and other govern­ment agen­cies to main­tain them.

I could see why for twenty years af­ter the dis­cov­ery of the paint­ings at Al­tamira, Spain, the paint­ings were still deemed a fraud by many. They looked freshly made and they were stun­ningly beau­ti­ful, even when com­pared to con­tem­po­rary paint­ing. Sci­en­tific re­search in­ter­vened and es­tab­lished their date of ex­e­cu­tion, set­tling the

The first day out was among the most stren­u­ous. Af­ter balanc­ing on the un­even walk­ways for 2 miles, we ar­rived at the base of a moun­tain to face a 30-foot an­gu­lar rock climb with only a loose bam­boo rail for sup­port. I soon be­came de­hy­drated, pant­ing for air and won­der­ing: why am I do­ing this?

con­tro­versy. The im­ages that are left in Su­lawesi are more like marks or sketches. Ex­cept for the deer pig im­ages, they are far more re­duc­tive, and are un­like the spec­tac­u­lar fig­u­ra­tive paint­ings found in Europe. This may be be­cause the im­ages have faded away from ex­po­sure to the el­e­ments. The big unan­swer­able ques­tion here is what we are not see­ing - what was here and is no longer? Once again, we were struck by the ur­gent need for con­ser­va­tion in these caves.

The next day we en­tered Leang Jing af­ter a rough hike and a steep rock climb to the cave en­trance. Things got dra­matic when the bam­boo lad­der broke on my last step up to a ledge. The quick re­flexes of our guide saved me from a se­ri­ous fall by grab­bing the break­ing rung and hold­ing it while I took that fi­nal step. I wearily thought "no more,

enough of this." But that stub­born in­ner voice kept push­ing me for­ward. My re­newed re­solve was soon re­warded by the many draw­ings and hand sten­cils we saw in this cave, in­clud­ing im­ages of fresh­wa­ter fish and a dra­matic spiky-haired woman car­ry­ing a las­soed anoa, a nearly ex­tinct species re­sem­bling a small pig-deer.

The spiky-haired woman was of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to me. The draw­ing was graphic, dra­matic and had at­ti­tude. Her ap­par­ent ac­tion sug­gested a wild fe­male hunter caught in ac­tion! There were no male coun­ter­parts found in the Su­lawesi caves or, for that mat­ter, in the French and Span­ish caves I have vis­ited. It sug­gests that, at least in this part of the world, women were im­por­tant as hunters in an­cient times. So although this was ar­tis­ti­cally a sketch, it re­layed pow­er­ful his­tor­i­cal, so­cial and psy­cho­log­i­cal mean­ing.

Leang Pet­takere

The next day we be­gan with a long steep climb, then up steps to end with a rock climb to the Leang Pet­takere's en­trance. Af­ter this ar­du­ous jour­ney, we were re­warded by a stun­ning, matched pair of deer-pig draw­ings, cov­ered by hand prints. The deer-pig im­age is com­mon in these caves, sug­gest­ing that it was an im­por­tant food source.

But see­ing these im­ages I felt that there was more to it than this, prob­a­bly some­thing spe­cial, even sa­cred, about this species. Look­ing at the

wall as a whole and think­ing about the im­age of the deer-pig sur­rounded by the hand prints as in­te­gral, the paint­ing seems to form a sin­gle com­po­si­tion. The de­tail around the out­line of the an­i­mal and es­pe­cially the tail and legs sug­gests a fin­ger or brush paint­ing tech­nique. The paint­ings are lo­cated high on the cave wall, up and away from eye level, and per­haps not meant to be seen by others.

Leang Pet­tae, Leang Mon­roe and Leang Bulu Sipong

The fol­low­ing day we went to see Leang Pet­tae and Mon­roe, and again, we saw many hand prints lo­cated in dif­fi­cult places. For me this was fur­ther ev­i­dence that the hand prints, and in­deed all the mark­ings here, had a cer­e­mo­nial pur­pose demon­strat­ing again the uni­ver­sal hu­man urge to con­nect to the un­known through mark­ing. Later that same day we hiked though rice fields and climbed un­even ter­rain to Leang Bulu Sipong.

Here we en­coun­tered the most di­verse and beau­ti­ful draw­ings and paint­ings we had seen thus far: a dark hand print sprayed red re­sult­ing in a sel­dom seen black hand print cou­pled with a fish draw­ing in a blue/laven­der colour (pos­si­bly gen­er­ated by the con­tin­ual wash­ing of chem­i­cals down the cave walls) and dou­ble stick fig­ures drawn in char­coal. Be­yond this was a won­der­ful float­ing Manta Ray and a draw­ing of a duck in a deep red colour made from ground iron ox­ide min­er­als mixed with water and/or plant liq­uid.

Leang La­sitae

The next day we hiked, climbed and crawled up to Leang Las­tae. It was here we were shown the thick line draw­ings of three fish. They were drawn above and be­hind our heads as we tra­versed through a nar­row open­ing in the cave. I had to strad­dle the open­ing and turn around to be di­rectly in front of a hole and look up to see these draw­ings. Not made to be eas­ily seen, their lo­ca­tion sug­gests a pri­vate ex­pres­sion.

Our team ar­chae­ol­o­gist, Rustin Lebe, told us of a cave he had climbed with the help of a part­ner and some se­ri­ous climb­ing gear. They went up the sheer face of a 200 me­tre high cliff and into a small cave

hole – not know­ing what they would find. To his as­ton­ish­ment, there were 40 or more hand prints of var­i­ous sizes, many of them grouped to­gether. These were never meant as art in the sense of dis­play. They are the re­sult of enor­mous ef­fort, a rit­ual done to con­nect with the spir­i­tual world – the rock per­haps be­ing seen as a veil be­tween the two worlds. This is how Lewis-Wil­liams de­scribes the hand prints found in Spain and France: “One has to rec­og­nize that the caves are pas­sages into a spir­i­tual sub­ter­ranean realm.”

Plac­ing the hand on the veil was not pri­mar­ily to make a pic­ture of a hand but it was a way to con­tact the spir­i­tual realm and touch its power. It was an act not dis­sim­i­lar to pil­grims touch­ing a relic of a saint, or pray­ing with a hand on a statue to ac­cess the help of the saint rep­re­sented, a prac­tice still com­mon in many places in the world.

As a gate­way to the nu­mi­nous, the mak­ing of hand prints and sten­cils in the caves would have been, as Jung sug­gested, sub­lime, that is both a ter­ri­ble and ex­hil­a­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. The paint ap­plied to the hand was prob­a­bly some kind of sol­vent, ‘a pow­er­ful sub­stance that fa­cil­i­tated pen­e­tra­tion of the veil’. Rus­tan Lebe, our ar­chae­ol­o­gist, added that this an­cient prac­tice is still com­mon, even in his own home. Now they use a nut and rice pow­der mix­ture, press­ing the print on the beams of the house.

Leang Saka­pao

In the next cave, Leang Saka­pao we were treated to beau­ti­fully de­vel­oped paint­ings done with red iron ox­ides, brushed or fin­ger painted to a sharp de­tail. The ex­pe­ri­ence here was much more agree­able. Our guides sim­ply led us through a steel gate and fence and in­structed us to lie down on the cave floor, face up.

From there, I could see de­tailed paint­ings of two mat­ing babirusa (deer pigs) and an anoa - a minia­ture buf­falo. The de­tail achieved in these paint­ings was re­mark­able, even evok­ing dif­fer­ences in the an­i­mals’ fur.

This cave con­tains the most beau­ti­ful ar­range­ment of hand prints that I had yet seen in the caves of Su­lawesi. There was one dou­ble hand print and a draw­ing of anoa placed over the top of another. More strik­ing was the large, medium and small prints, mas­cu­line and fem­i­nine, all printed on a var­ie­gated lime­stone cave wall, now par­tially cov­ered with al­gae, lichen and salt leached from the rock.

Again, the im­ages were made by spray­ing red iron ox­ide mixed into a liq­uid over a hand placed

on the cave wall, the veil to a spir­i­tual world. These were not sin­gle prints made repet­i­tively but a com­mu­nal act of many made at the same time. This might be com­pared in the mod­ern world to the com­mu­nal act of pray­ing to­gether hold­ing hands found in churches, mosques, syn­a­gogues, tem­ples, monas­ter­ies, but in these sit­u­a­tions there is no ac­com­pa­ny­ing mark mak­ing.

The col­lab­o­ra­tive en­ergy is in the act it­self, sym­bolic and not made per­ma­nent. The light­ing of vo­tive can­dles might also be seen as a mod­ern equiv­a­lent to the hand print­ing of the kind ev­i­denced in Su­lawesi. Re­cent stud­ies of the anatom­i­cal fea­tures of the hand prints in the Euro­pean caves have sug­gested that most of them were made by women.

If true, this would in­di­cate that women had a large, if not pre­dom­i­nant role in mak­ing the hand prints, draw­ings and paint­ings in the caves, and by ex­ten­sion, in the spir­i­tual prac­tices of these com­mu­ni­ties as well.

Leang Kassi

Af­ter view­ing twelve of Su­lawesi’s caves, the last ex­cur­sion was into Leang Kassi, which means ‘Sand Cave.’ Here we found an ex­tra­or­di­nary char­coal draw­ing of an ex­tended fig­ure hold­ing what ap­pears to be a pig-tailed girl. What was un­usual here was the use of a rock crevasse to ac­cen­tu­ate or change di­rec­tion of the draw­ing, as well as a sen­si­tive and pow­er­ful use of neg­a­tive space. The draw­ing has the emo­tive power of con­nect­ing and hold­ing be­tween adult and child while in ex­treme bod­ily ex­ten­sion.

As the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the hu­man fig­ure is rel­a­tively rare in all pre­his­toric caves, this draw­ing was an es­pe­cially com­pelling way to con­clude our jour­ney through them in this chal­leng­ing and lit­tle-known re­gion.

Hav­ing taken the chal­lenge, and hav­ing sur­vived vis­its to thir­teen of the caves in Su­lawesi, it was fi­nally time to head back to Makas­sar. The next night we took a nine-hour bus ride to Tana To­raja for more or­di­nary tourism. Tana To­raja is a won­der­land of fan­ci­ful hous­ing where we wit­nessed an­cient burial rites and tribal cus­toms still com­mon to­day. It was like no other place we’d ever been. All the ar­du­ous hikes and treach­er­ous climbs were over. It was time to en­joy the com­forts of a four-star ho­tel. It al­most felt strange to have enough hot water and cool breezes in our room. Af­ter that much needed pause we trav­elled back down the moun­tains in an eleven-hour car drive to Makas­sar. The next day we boarded a flight on our jour­ney back to Wash­ing­ton DC. The re­turn trip took 39 hours door to door.

It took well over a week to re-ac­cli­mate to our nor­mal lives and then sev­eral weeks to be­gin to in­te­grate and un­der­stand what we had been through and the mean­ing of what we had seen.

Per­haps the most im­por­tant take-away for me as an artist was com­ing in con­tact with an art form that was ev­i­dently be­yond the merely dec­o­ra­tive. The artists, women and men, who worked to make these nearly in­ac­ces­si­ble draw­ings and paint­ings made them for a pur­pose that we can­not know for cer­tain. Yet, their very ex­is­tence speaks across the mil­len­nia to us of some­thing spe­cial, sa­cred. And their voices have in­spired me for a new di­rec­tion in my own art, dy­namized by the an­cient mark­ings found on the cave walls of Su­lawesi, In­done­sia.

Above, left: Craig Kraft and guides at Leang La­sitae Above, top: At Leang Saka­pao. The au­thor is lay­ing on his back with his head propped up by trans­la­tor Akram Arsyad; Libby Har­ris and ex­pe­di­tion team climb­ing up to Leang Bulu Sipong Above, bot­tom: An...

Right, top: Hand print, Bulu Sipong Right, mid­dle: Adult and child hand prints at Leang Saka­pao Right, bot­tom: Manta Ray, Bulu Sipong

Pre­vi­ous pages: Hands and anoa from Leang Saka­pao Left, top : The old­est hand print known to date, Leang Tim­puseng Left, below: Two fish at Leang La­sitae, and bot­tom: Draw­ing of a abirusa (deer­pig) at Leang Pet­takere

Above, left: Libby Har­ris and lo­cal guide climb­ing to Leang Jarie

Above, right: Mem­bers of the sixth day ex­pe­di­tion at Leang Jarie: Libby Har­ris, Ar­chae­ol­o­gist Rus­tan Lebe, Craig Kraft, trans­la­tor Akram Arsyad and lo­cal guide.

Above: The en­trance to Leang Saka­pao

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