By Dian Hasan | July 10, 2010
It is no secret that Indonesia holds many wonders that attract visitors from far and wide. An ancient land with stunning natural beauty, the world’s largest archipelago has witnessed many a travelers traipsing through, while migrating to other places. Many of whom, of course, stayed on to form the multiethnic mozaic that makes up Indonesia today.
Among those earlier visitors who “stopped by” Indonesia must have included ancient tribes – most probably Aborigines from Australia – who ventured as far as Papua and left their markings in the form of rock paintings (or “Petroglyphs“) in and around Misool Island in Raja Ampat.
This is the known lore of people around Raja Ampat, and much is to be learned still, with further scientific and archeological studies, on how these well-preserved rock paintings ended up there. They are mostly done in ochre depicting various human figures, fish, flowers and plants, tools and vessels, and occasional hand. It is estimated that they are anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 years old.
And adds yet another fascinating fact about Indonesia’s offering to the world. And while Raja Ampat is by no means the only area in Indonesia with ancient rock artwork, one could argue that Raja Ampat is Indonesia’s answer to France’s famed Lascaux Paleolithic cave paintings. These are of course much older, estimated at around 17,000 years old.
The following is a first-person account on the Misool petroglyphs, from Marit Miners, co-founder of Misool Eco Resort, arguably Indonesia’s most chic and eco-sensitive dive resort. Swedish-born Marit is the better-half of Brit Andrew Miners, and together the couple created Misool Eco Resort. Here’s Marit’s excerpt from her blog post:
Marit Miners entering the cave in a boat. The remote location, accessible only by boat may explain the well preserved condition of the ancient rock paintings. Photos: Underwater Austrasia (L), Marit Miners (R)
One of the rock paintings that appears to resemble a ball bearing of sort. Photo: Marit Miners Continue reading