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Niah Caves

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Niah Caves

Postby relaxjack » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:15 am

Niah Caves is located within the district of Miri in Sarawak, Malaysia. Part of Niah National Park, the main cave is one of the largest limestone caves in the world. The cave system is an important prehistorical site human remains dating to 40,000 years ago. This is the oldest recorded human settlement in East Malaysia. Painted Cave has rock paintings dated at 1200 years. This area appears to be the location of origin of the Cham people of southern Vietnam. The caves are also well known for the birds' nest (Swiftlet) collection. It is a popular tourist destination in Sarawak.

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(more photos coming up soon after i finished processing)
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Postby Jack » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:54 am

Can't wait to see more pictures taken by our sifu. :D

In the mean time, here's some extra info about Niah:

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/science/slab/niahcave/history.htm

History of the Great Cave of Niah

The Great Cave of Niah is enormous by any measure. The floor area of the cave has been calculated at almost 10 hectares and in places the cave roof rises a majestic 75 metres above the rubble-strewn floor. It has been the site of around 40,000 years of human occupation.

The earliest phase of cave occupation is referred to as the Palaeolithic (old stone age) and occurs in the late Pleistocene epoch. The Pleistocene ends with the beginning of Holocene epoch around 10,000 years ago. During the Holocene there were many exciting changes in the way humans occupied a wide range of environments across the globe.

At Niah, human use of the caves changes from a location of intermittent use by mobile foragers during the early Holocene and becomes a major repository of the dead around 4,000 years ago. At the same time, there is evidence for the use of pottery as funerary gifts and also as burial jars, with much later evidence for the deposition of imported metals, ceramics and glass.

During the 1950s and 60s, Niah Cave was the focus of several intense and active archaeological field seasons when Tom Harrisson, Curator of Sarawak Museum between 1947 and 1967, excavated a large area on the northern side of the West Mouth.

The excavations were admirable for their time, particularly given the considerable logistical difficulties that had to be overcome because of the isolation of the site and the difficulties of working in tropical environments.

In total person-hours, it has been estimated that Harrisson and his team spent nearly four years between 1954 and 1962 excavating, recording and cataloging finds at Niah. During this time, Harrisson and the archaeological team discovered one of the largest stratified cave sequences in South East Asia, exciting the world as layer after layer of deep prehistory was unveiled at Niah.

Their most notable discovery was a human skull (the so-called 'Deep Skull') uncovered in a deep trench dubbed 'Hell Trench' by Harrisson's excavators because of the heat and humidity in this particular part of the cave's entrance.

The skull was approximately at a level where stone tools had been found previously together with charcoal that yielded a radiocarbon date of around 40,000 years ago - the earliest evidence for human settlement on Borneo. In addition to this Palaeolithic occupation in the late Pleistocene period, the excavators found evidence for settlement in the early Holocene period by Mesolithic foragers, and then for burials by pottery-using people from about 4,000 years ago.

The Harrissons also excavated in at least a dozen other sites at Niah. Even though they never published a final comprehensive report on their Niah Excavations, they published a number of interim reports and the Sarawak Museum holds a prolific collection of their finds from the excavations.

Based on these sources it is clear that the cave complex contains a remarkable sequence of domestic and funerary deposits that probably span more or less the entire history of human settlement on Borneo - from initial colonisation to recent centuries.

But there are doubts about the reliability of the data collected and recorded by the Harrissons.
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Postby relaxjack » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:57 pm

Jack, me not sifu la. Just point and shoot only. Here are more. Didnt really have time to shoot as went there a bit late.

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Last edited by relaxjack on Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ian » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:04 pm

relaxjack wrote:Just point and shoot only.


RelaxJack, for point and shoot, you show remarkable finesse in cropping, lighting, mood, clarity, color and an excellent choice of subjects with your photographs.

I love all your photos!
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Postby relaxjack » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:27 pm

Thanks Ian. Plan to go one more time purely for shooting session. Here are some macro shots i managed to take despite the tight schedule.

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Last edited by relaxjack on Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby calista » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:01 am

beautiful....
...smile...
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Postby my4to » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:04 am

very sui,memang Sifu's class pics,like especially the composition but maybe u forget to reduce noise in the insect's macro? (or u purposely forget? ) :D

more more more pics please :D
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Postby Peter Choy » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:46 pm

Excellent pictures relaxjack! I am very impressed with your photography skills.
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Postby Sil_30 » Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:30 pm

Yeah, And thinking I actually have never been to Niah caves...I have saw what I miss out all my life in your pics......thanks for sharing....
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Postby LadyBird® » Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:16 pm

U r da MAN, RelaxJack... :D

More..more..more...plzzz :wink:
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Postby PAUL » Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:50 pm

i have not been to that cave before but have seen so many pictures of it especially the part where the hut is.

Can some brave peoples climb deep inside to take some real good pictures? I am really curious what + how is inside there.
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Postby relaxjack » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:34 pm

Well, it is almost impossible to take any pictures inside the caves as it is pitch black. Flash and high intensity lights are not allowed to avoid frightening the swiflets. Unlike Mulu where you have spotlights shining the stalagmites and stalactite, there aren't any in Niah.

my4to: sorry for the lousy processing on the millipede. i re-processed it again with more NR and more shadows.

Another one: A native selling handicrafts.
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Postby chilskater » Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:05 pm

EEEiiiii ulat gonggok....
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