Archeology on Savu
Ma Dira Cave
|Lie Ma Dira (Madira) is
situated only 300 m from the high tide mark at
Ro'a Lie (cave) in West Sawu District. It is a
long cave with a narrow mouth facing west. It
contains stalactites, stalagmites and a fresh
spring of clean water. The cave served as a
Japanese hideaway during the Second World War.
There are indications that humans used the cave
about 6000 years ago. The intensity of its use
increased dramatically after 5960± 70 BP. The
occupation reached its peak afterward, indicated
by high numbers of flakes and cores, shells and
animal bones. Then, it seems that the cave was
not intensively used after the first appearance
of pottery, at which time the archaeological data
decrease (dating in process).
It is apparent that the Lie Ma Dira people
depended heavily on marine resources. They
exploited more varied shell species from more
environments in the later period than in the
earlier period of occupation. During the
occupation, stone flakes were produced by a
percussion technique. Some flakes were used
directly without secondary working and some
flakes were retouched.
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
Australian National University
Translation and pronunciation:
- Lie (pron.
Lea Madeira) means "outcrop",
- Lie Ma
Dira means (place name) Ma Dira Outcrop.
(pron. "row are" with each
sound shortened with an abrupt stop)
- Ro'a Lie
Copyright © 2006 Ina Tali/Francesca Von
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