Researcher argues for Kedah as site of oldest Malaysian kingdom

An independent researcher is arguing for Malaysian history books to be changed to reflect the earliest civilisation in Malaysia originated in Kedah’s Bujang Valley, rather than the 15th century Malacca Sultanate. The monumental architecture in Bujang Valley, in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia, has been known for several decades now and current research by a team from Universiti Sains Malaysia have brought about new findings about the site. Of course, there are some political undertones to this argument as the primacy of the Malacca Sultanate has a function in the historical narrative of the state.

Cities of Gold
photo credit: plassen

Kedah, not Malacca, the oldest kingdom [Link no longer active]
Free Malaysia Today, 10 September 2011

Local history books may have to be re-written to accommodate a Universiti Sains Malaysia(USM) archaeological team’s discovery that the Kedah sultanate pre-dates Malacca as the oldest in the Malay peninsula.

The team from USM’s Centre for Global Archaeological Research (PPAG) has unearthed evidence of ancient artifacts and an iron smelting site in Kedah dating back to 110 AD.

Among the discoveries were a complete and intact foundation of a stone building constructed with detailed geometrical precision, revealing the unification of the concept of squares and circles.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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