Are There Sea Shell Fossils in the Emfote Lake Hill Area, Papua, Used to be the Ocean?

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PAPUADAILY –The Papua Archeology Center has found fossilized sea shells in the hills of the Emfote Lake area, located south of Lake Sentani, Ebungfauw District, Jayapura Regency, Papua. According to the researcher, Hari Suroto, this finding strengthens the theory that in the past the area was the sea.

“Lake Sentani is a sea, then a geological process or land lift occurs,” he said when contacted, Thursday (8/7/2021).

Emfote Lake, which is located to the south of Lake Sentani, Ebungfauw District, Jayapura Regency, Papua. Credit: Papua Archaeological Center

The Emfote Lake area, or travelers call it Lake Love because of its shape, is a lake that is at an altitude. To get there, from the shores of Lake Sentani it is necessary to walk about an hour along an alternative road.

The waters of Sentani, which were previously salty and connected to the sea, said Hari, were then separated by raised hills. The next process, salt water is discharged into the sea through the Jaifuri River, and is replaced by 26 freshwater rivers which empties into Lake Sentani. “This river originates from the Cyclops Mountains.”

The saltwater fauna in Sentani, the archaeologist who graduated from Udayana University continued, then adapted to the new environment. He gave the example of the Sentani saw shark, which is actually a marine fish, then adapted to become a freshwater fish.

This saw shark was last caught by fishermen in the 1970s, after which it was considered extinct. “The Sentani people’s memory of this saw shark can now be found in Sentani’s artwork, depicted on the bark or poles of traditional houses,” said Hari.