Exploring the Prehistoric Trace at Kalabus Cave of West Papua

Kalabus Cave
Sumber : Suara

West Papua is not only famous with its amazing natural attraction but also known for its historical value. There have been findings on several archaeological sites in the province, including those in Kaimana and Fakfak. Additionally, one of the current studies has resulted in trace findings from the prehistoric period in Makbon, Sorong.

In Makbon District, an ancient cave is found having several traces from the old days. The cave is generally called Kalabus Cave. Below are some details about the archaeological site for you to learn.

Kalabus Cave
Sumber : Cnn Indonesia

Artefacts found in Kalabus Cave

Some experts have conducted archaeological research in Malaumkarta Village, Makbon District, Sorong Regency, West Papua. The archaeologists have established a discovery on a prehistoric cave situated in the village. One of the archaeologists, Hari Suroto, mentioned that the local people used to name it Kalabus Cave. 

Kalabus Cave of West Papua is situated 200 meters to the west of Kalabu River. The site might not have been visited for such a long time as it can be seen from the condition of the cave floor. The floor of the prehistoric cave is full of bird droppings, and after being figured out, these droppings are from swallows. 

Meanwhile, the condition of the cave mouth and front area is dry. There is more to find around the mouth of the cave. Hari added that the artifacts on the mouth are pottery and leftovers in the form of seashells.


Potentials Place to Live in the Past

Some archaeologists highlighted that Kalabus Cave of West Papua was the potential to live in the past. It is proven by the findings of artifacts at the cave, which supports the idea that it became a prehistoric home for the elders. People who used to dwell in the cave predictably depended on the surrounding resources. 

Hari Suroto, an archaeologist who researched the cave, explained that after being observed from the leftovers in the form of seashells, the ancient cavemen at Kalabus are indicated to search for food from the nearby area the seashore. 

There is also another artifact finding to support this, the pottery. The artifact indicates that there had been a process of food making variations which is boiling. Hari added that it was also functioned to contain food or water.

Although Kalabus Cave became the house of prehistoric people, it predictably didn’t become the place to produce the pottery. Hari, who graduated from Udayana University, Bali, elaborated that after being held research of the type of ground around the archaeological site, it wasn’t possible to be a place to produce the earthenware. Thus, it can be concluded from the explanation that the good had most likely come from somewhere else.

Hari noted that Kalabus Cave is a physically broad area. It has a comfortable and safe space, good lighting, flat and dry floor surface, and good air condition. More importantly, it is close to a water source. Therefore, he was certain that prehistoric humans could use the ancient cave to live and do their daily activities.

Before the research at Kalabus Cave of West Papua, Hari and his team had similarly found other prehistoric artifacts at the Fromadi site. The archaeological site is located by the seashore at Sarmi Beach, Papua. The artifacts found included a bracelet, pottery, stone axe, beads, and leftovers made of seashells. He added that the bracelet was white and made of glass. 

Those artifacts have proven that there will still be many more for archaeologists to discover. The details about the making process, how to produce such goods in prehistoric times, and where else other artifacts can be found are only a few among numerous questions to answer. It also makes West Papua more interesting with more stories from the past.