Burials on the islands are the key to the study of human migration. Scientists can track changes in the composition of a people, dietary habits, health, professional activities, belief systems, and other aspects of social behavior. Alor Island in Indonesia is located between the mainland of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. Until now, only a few complete pre-Neolithic burials have been discovered and described in this vast area.
Archaeologists speculate that they found a delayed primary burial or secondary treatment, where the diaphysis of the long bones was removed prior to burial. The stratigraphic position of the remains indicates that the skeleton was not buried in an anatomical position, which supports the hypothesis of secondary processing of the remains.
The practice of burial documented in the burial of minors from Gua Makpana is compared to the practice of burial documented elsewhere on the Southeast Asian island. Differences and similarities in burial procedures are assessed as influencing the general burial rituals in this maritime region.