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About the role of Sumatra in the evolution of the modern humand, little is known. The densely forested equatorial landscape didn't safe the kind of lake- and river-deposits that brought to light the very early version of the human kind in Eastern and central parts of Java. The early humans probably avoided the wet rainforests, and inhabited the fertile river valleys along Sumatra's mountainous spl (...)

Early clues about Sumatra are hard to be found. The Indian Ramayane epos (3rd century BC) does name a Svarnadvipa of 'Gold Island' which is meant to be Sumatra; the big numbers of gold found on the island, have been mined ever since the ancient times. Claudius Ptolemeus, a geographer from Alexandria from the first century AD, wrote that there were probably living cannibals on the five Ba (...)

From the year 1300 the political and cultural centre moved from the South to the North of Sumater, tied to the arrival of a new religion, the Islam. Until the 14th century the big kingdoms were located in Palembang or Jambi. Now a big number of less important kingdoms settled through the fast-flowing rivers along Malaca Strait at the northeastern coast of the island. These kingdoms were (...)

Under the Dutch rule, the development of an communal educational and political system started. Together with the islam was is formed the base the national awakening. The islamic organisation Sarekat Islam became the channel for the suppressed indignancy about foreign rule. In 1916, a small riot broke out in Jambi. Aceh was scared by riots in 1918-1919, in those same years, the Minangkabau f (...)

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