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Carbon-14 Dated Palæoliths from Borneo


1957 excavations by the Sarawak Museum at Niah Great Cave, West Borneo, produced a succession of human phases from subsurface Bronze Age through ‘Neolithic’ polished axes and adzes (to 24 in.), then edge-ground and ‘pebble’ tools, and below these unworked flakes and blades; deeper again (below 72 in.) crude ‘choppers’, in the sense lately re-defined by Prof. H. J. Movius1. A preliminary report2 lacked carbon-14 information from the lower levels. Now Prof. HI. de Vries, of the Physical Laboratory, University of Groningen, Holland, who has kindly carried out all our tests, reports on a charcoal sample from about 100 in.: GRO. 1339 39,600 ± 1,000 years (1957)

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  1. 1

    Movius, Hallam J., Man in India, 37, 2, 150 (1957).

  2. 2

    Harrisson, Tom, Man, 57, 211 (1957).

  3. 3

    Oakley, Kenneth P., “Man the Tool-Maker”, 2nd. edit., Fig. 20 (London, 1950); and one examined with Dr. Oakley, Brit. Mus. No. G.D.E. 1178; cf. Lal, B. B., Ancient India, 12, 59, and Plates xxiii-xl (1957).

  4. 4

    von Heekeren, H. R., “The Stone Age of Indonesia”, 35 and Fig. 9 (The Hague, 1957).

  5. 5

    Helder, Karl G., J. Siam. Soc., 46, 1, 61 (1957).

  6. 6

    See Nature, 180, 1028 (1957).

  7. 7

    Sieveking, G. de G., Malayan Branch, Roy. Asiatic Soc., 28, 1, 198 (1955).

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