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Borneo Memory of the Caves
Bradshaw Foundation Books
by Luc-Henri Fage & Jean-Michel Chazine
• Preface by Jean Clottes
• Forward by Elisabeth Proust
• Translated by Lysa Hochtroth
• Edited in English by Alexandra Nicolescu
• Published by Le Kalimanthrope 2010
• ISBN 978-2-9536616-1-3
176 pages, full color, with more than 350 photographs and illustrations. Hardcover with dust jacket coated mat. Size 25 x 32 cm. French, Indonesian and English versions.
In this exceptional scientific adventure up rivers in the heart of the wild tropical rainforest of Borneo, the authors discover an unexpected rock art site more than 10,000 years old during some twelve expeditions to remote caves. Conducted by Luc-Henri Fage, speleologist and photographer; Jean-Michel Chazine, archaeologist; and Pindi Setiawan, their Indonesian partner from the Bandung Institute of Technology, this research unveils a forgotten culture, lost within remote labyrinthine limestone peaks, which sheds new light on Southeast Asian prehistory.
Borneo: Memory of the Caves is the account of an extraordinary adventure, told by the protagonists who made the exceptional discovery of the rock art murals of Kalimantan which are over ten thousand years old. Their findings shed new light on how populations developed between Southeast Asia and Australia.
Since 1988, in mission after mission, a profile of Borneo's ancient populations has emerged, suggesting not only their similarities with the Aboriginal people of Australia, but also the particular relationships they developed with the caves, by creating rock art characterized by an abundance of negative hands.
Close to two thousand such hands discovered to date allow for new interpretations of this universal motif.
In this magnificently illustrated work, we discover not only the richness and complexity of an ancient region of the world, but also how today, this heritage is endangered.
Bradshaw Foundation Book Review
Luc-Henri Fage & Jean-Michel Chazine, over a period of some fifteen years, have discovered and documented an entire region of decorated caves in an extremely isolated region of Borneo, that had clearly been used for ceremonies and rituals for ancient populations over ten thousand years ago. This superbly illustrated and fully descriptive publication vividly shares that adventure with both professional and lay researchers. And whilst it strengthens the importance of the 'hand' motif in prehistoric art on a global stage, 'Borneo, Memory of the Cave' brings to light hand paintings that, on the whole, are unique to this region.
This is a classic case of exploratory minds and adventurous spirits being rewarded with an astounding treasure trove of highly distinctive and characteristic prehistoric art, and the fact that the publication is available in English, French and Indonesian will surely, and hopefully, ensure its preservation. Highly recommended!
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Luc-Henri Fage Jean-Michel Chazine
French film-maker, photographer and journalist, Luc-Henri Fage has developed skills throughout his life that allow him to satisfy his passion to explore karstic areas in such far-flung places as Papua New Guinea, Patagonia and Borneo.
Thanks to his 2000 Rolex Award, Fage was able to fund an expedition the following year, and, through contacts he made at National Geographic, a further one in 2003. In addition, a film of the discovery was made for the ARTE television network in the wake of the publicity. A 176-page illustrated book of his 11 expeditions, Borneo: Memory of the Caves, which he co-authored with Jean-Michel Chazine, was published in French, English and Indonesian.
Fage continues planning and carrying out major multidisciplinary expeditions to the biodiversity-threatened Borneo region and elsewhere.
Jean-Michel Chazine created and directed the Department of Archaeology Tahiti from 1979 to 1982 and led several research programs on the Tuamotu atolls and low islands of the Pacific in general. In 2001 he received the Crystal CNRS. He participated with Luc-Henri Fage and Pindi Setiawan in the discovery of rock art in the unexpected and exceptional province of Indonesia in East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo in 1994.
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