Lene Hara cave

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Lene Hara
Paintings in Lene Hara cave
Paintings in Lene Hara cave
Lene Hara
Lene Hara
location in
Location Lautém District
Region eastern tip of East Timor
Coordinates 8°23′32″S 127°17′25″E / 8.39222°S 127.29028°E / -8.39222; 127.29028Coordinates: 8°23′32″S 127°17′25″E / 8.39222°S 127.29028°E / -8.39222; 127.29028
A carved face

The Lena Hara cave is the main cave of a system of solutional caves in the Lautém District at the eastern tip of East Timor (Timor-Leste), close to the village of Tutuala. Others are Ile Kére Kére and Jerimalai. Lene Hara has provided evidence that Timor has been occupied by humans since 30,000 to 35,000 years[1] and thus is evidence that humans crossed the waters of Wallacea between the Pleistocene continents of Sunda and Sahul.

The cave was discovered to science in the early 1960s and first investigated in 1963 by Portuguese anthropologist, Antonio de Almeida when Timor Leste was under Portuguese rule.[1] Radiocarbon dating of the cave taken from digs beside those investigated by Almeida, by a team led by Sue O'Connor from the Australian National University, shows deposition of shells (trochus and strombus) by transitory inhabitants beginning 35,000 years BP.[1]

O'Connor et al pointed out that the earliest occupation of Australia is dated to around 55,000 BP, so it is likely that the deposits dated at 35,000 years represent another wave of human advance.[1]

O'Connor has also reported[2] finding in Lena Hara Holocene fish hooks made from shell, and shell beads.[3]

In May 2009, carved faces were found high in the cave, and have since been dated to 10,000 years. This was reported in the journal Antiquity of February 2011.[4] Paintings in Ile Kére Kére are believed to be 2,000 to 6,000 years old.

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