Zooarchaeology at the Niah Caves, Sarawak: Context and Research Issues INTRODUCTION

G. Barker, P. J. Piper*, R. J. Rabett

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Extensive archaeological excavations in the Niah Caves (Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo) over the past 50 years have produced perhaps 750 000 fragments of vertebrate bone, one of the largest faunal assemblages in the region, This paper introduces a series of research studies examining different aspects of the Niah fauna, and discusses how they are contributing to, and shaping, regional research agendas relating to prehistoric environments and societies in Island Southeast Asia. Zooarchaeology has traditionally had a rather 'Cinderella' status here, but the ongoing programme of study of the Niah Caves fauna is demonstrating the remarkable potential of this material to address questions of Pleistocene and Holocene climate and environment, biodiversity, human activities within caves, people's engagement with the landscapes they inhabited as foragers and farmers, and the nature of the transition from foraging to farming. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)447-463
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • zooarchaeology
    • Niah Caves
    • Borneo
    • hunting subsistence strategies
    • palaeolithic
    • Neolithic
    • BORNEO


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