Recent research in East Timor and the Aru Islands in eastern Indonesia (Figure 1) has brought to light some significant differences in the occupation record of these islands, with the most pronounced contrast relating to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).
The Holocene period on the Aru Islands saw a spread of lowland rainforest as conditions became warmer and wetter with flooding of the Sahul Shelf and eventual severance from the mainland of southern New Guinea.
The Aru Islands faunal record has been argued to "support the palaeoenvironmental models that propose more extreme cooling and reductions in precipitation at low altitude, rather than the more conservative estimates" (O'Connor et al.
The Aru Islands today lie east of the Kei Islands and south of New Guinea at 7[degrees]S and 134[degrees]E (Figure 1).
In comparison with Timor, the Aru Islands have a moist climate with annual rainfall about 3000mm per annum and relatively modest water deficit, comparable with southern New Guinea (Hope and Aplin 2005:28).
The Aru islands were part of the Sahul Shelf until ca.
One of the most impressive findings is the location of the ruins of a fort close to the coastal settlement of Ujir in the northern part of the Aru Islands.
The archaeology of the Aru Islands, eastern Indonesia is well edited and makes a fine example of archaeological research and neighbouring disciplines.
The dynamic palaeoenvironmental history of the Aru Islands is elaborated by Geoff Hope and Ken Aplin in Chapter 2.
The Aru Islands volume came out 10 years after the first field season.
Due to the lack of communications in the Aru islands in the past, virtually every village has developed its own repertoire of songs (didi), including many kinds of rowing songs sung on boats when at sea (marerei, bela and jer lavlavi).
In the more isolated areas of Maluku, such as in inland Tanimbar and the Aru Islands, the traditional music and dance continue to be practised in their agricultural and life-crisis ceremonial contexts of ancestor and nature veneration, while in some villages (e.