Friday, August 27, 2010


Geologically the area of modern Indonesia appeared sometime around the Pleistocene period, when it was still linked with the Asian mainland. The archipelago formed during the thaw after the latest ice age. Fossilized remains of Homo erectness, popularly known as the "Java Man", suggest the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited two million to 500,000 years ago. Homo sapience reached the region by around 45,000 years ago. Recent discoveries on the island of Flores were dubbed "Flores Man" (Homo florescence), a miniature hominid that grew only three feet tall, although whether this constitutes a separate species is still in dispute. Flores Man seems to have shared some islands with Java Man until only 10,000 years ago, when they became extinct.

Austronesian people form the majority of the modern population. They may have arrived in Indonesia around 2000 BCE. Dong Son culture spread to Indonesia bringing with it techniques of wet-field rice cultivation, ritual buffalo sacrifice, bronze casting, megalithic practices, and ikat weaving methods. Ideal agricultural conditions, and the mastering of wet-field rice cultivation as early as the 8th century BCE, allowed villages, towns, and small kingdoms to flourish by the 1st century CE.

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