Kuala Lumpur’s heritage buildings under threat

via Straits Times, 08 August 2017:

SE Asia News -Misguided spending, poor maintenance and bad planning have left these icons in disrepair.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Source: Kuala Lumpur’s heritage buildings under threat, SE Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

When the Malay cannons boomed

via New Straits Times, 23 July 2017: A feature on the cannons of Kota Kuala Kedah in northern Malaysia.

Cannons were already in common use in Europe by the mid 14th century. During that same time the Arabs began using cannons as effective siege machines during their assaults on Spain. By the time Lopez D’Sequeira visited Melaka in 1509, the Malay sultanate was said to have around 8,000 pieces of this type of artillery in its possession.

After conquering Melaka in 1511, Alfonso D’Albuquerque reported that one third of the Malay cannons were made of iron while the rest were cast from brass. He was reported to have said that the workmanship of the cannons he confiscated couldn’t be excelled even back home in Portugal.

Among those captured by the Portuguese were large cannons or meriam. However, their numbers paled in comparison with the more common long pieces called lela.

Source: When the Malay cannons boomed | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

Archaeology books removed from Singapore library, errors on religions cited

Channel NewsAsia, 08 June 2016: A series of Malay-language books named “Agama, Tamadun Dan Arkeologi” (Religion, Civilisation And Archaeology) has been withdrawn from circulation in the Singapore library system among public complaints that the books insulted religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism, as well as carried factual inaccuracies about these religions. The publisher of the series is based in Malaysia.

All titles under the Agama, Tamadun Dan Arkeologi (Religion, Civilisation And Archeology) series have been withdrawn from its libraries with immediate effect pending review by the Library Consultative Panel, a spokesperson said.

Source: NLB withdraws Malay language books on religion, to review vetting process

USM launches archaeotourism packages to bridge public and archaeology

Archaeology fans can get their hands dirty and dig up ancient artefacts at actual excavation sites in Perak and Kedah or at a mock excavation site at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

USM recently launched its archaeotourism package, especially aimed at students and visitors interested in archaeology, for a hands-on tour of actual archaeological sites in Sungai Batu and Lenggong Valley. There is also an USM Archaeology Gallery within the USM compound in Penang that details all of the archaeological sites in Malaysia, with exhibits of artefacts dug up in those excavations.

Source: Like archaeology? Now you can dig at real excavation sites | Malaysia | Malay Mail Online

Archaeologists search for a king in Sungai Batu

Malay Mail, 09 June 2017: Given the evidence of intense iron smelting activity in Kedah, archaeologists are now turning their focus to finding evidence of how people lived there and the nature of the settlement.

Tucked between plantations along a quiet country road near Merbok, Kedah, a team of archaeologists and students are busily excavating at a site that is known as South-east Asia’s oldest civilisation.

This is Kedah Tua in Sungai Batu, an ancient civilisation that dates back to 535 BC, earlier even than Borobudur in Java (9th century AD) and Angkor Wat, Cambodia (12th century AD).

That’s not all… this kingdom was a major iron exporter at the time, complete with mines, a smelting factory, a port and administrative buildings to support the industry.

What is missing are remnants of a palace, its thriving city and the burial sites of its people

Source: Archaeologists search for a king in Sungai Batu

The challenges faced by Malaysian Museums

The Star, 22 May 2017: Probably applicable to many other museums in the region and the world – making museums relevant and attractive to people today.

IT IS educational; a way of providing an interactive bridge to the past; a significant tourist attraction.

Source: Challenging times for houses of history – Community | The Star Online

Batu hidup ditemukan di Jenagor – Terengganu – Utusan Online

Utusan Online (18 May 2017, article in Bahasa Malaysia): A trio of standing stones ‘batu hidup’ has been uncovered in Terrengganu. The location of these megaliths are quite interesting as they are usually found on the western side of the Malayan peninsula (Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Perak). I have often though that the standing stones are part of a megalithic cultural package that was carried from Sumatra, so their discovery on the eastern side of the peninsula is potentially significant.

KUALA TERENGGANU 18 Mei – Tiga bongkahan batu megalith yang dikenali sebagai batu hidup ditemukan di Jenagor, Hulu Terengganu baru-baru ini.

Source: Batu hidup ditemukan di Jenagor – Terengganu – Utusan Online

Maritime Grave Robbers Detained

The Maritime Executive, 08 May 2017: The Malaysian and Indonesian authorities have detained the MV Chuan Hong 68 and her crew, a vessel which is believed to be illegally looting shipwrecks (including war graves) in Indonesian and Malaysian waters.

 

MV Chuan Hong

Somebody has been stealing warships from Southeast Asian waters – more specifically, sunken warships, which are prized for their scrap metal value. Indonesian authorities now believe that they have caught one of the perpetrators: they allege that the 8,000 gt Chinese grab dredger Chuan Hong 68 was responsible for illegally scavenging the wrecks of the pre-WWII Japanese destroyer Sagiri, plus the passenger vessels Hiyoshi Maru and Katori Maru, the steamship Igara and the tanker Seven Skies.

It is the second time that maritime authorities have caught the Chuan Hong 68 in as many months. On April 20, the Indonesian Navy detained her in the waters off Natuna in the Riau Islands on the suspicion that she was engaged in illegal dredging. She escaped on April 22 and fled to Malaysia, where she was detained once again by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Source: Indonesia Captures Maritime Grave Robbers

See also:
Indonesia seeks Interpol’s help to find dredger (Straits Times, 23 April 2017)
The Thieves Who Steal Sunken Warships, Right Down to the Bolts (Outside Online, 02 May 2017)
Indonesia Detains Chinese-flagged Dredger for Looting Sunken Treasure (Netral, 07 May 2017)

Carbon dating confirms ‘Penang Woman’ is 5,710 years old

The Malay Mail, 12 May 2017: Fresh C14 dates for the skeleton found at Guar Kepah in Penang reveals it is 5,700 years old, consistent with the shell midden’s Neolithic date.

Source: Carbon dating confirms ‘Penang Woman’ is 5,710 years old | Malaysia | Malay Mail Online

See also: Carbon dating finds ‘Penang Woman’ to be 5,710 years old (The Star, 13 May 2017)

5,000-year-old skeleton found in Guar Kepah

New Straits Times, 25 April 2017: More on the skeleton found at Guar Kepah in Penang. There are now some calls to nominate the site for World Heritage, but those calls seem to be coming from politicians who may not be aware of how high the bar is.

KEPALA BATAS: The latest discovery of human skeleton, aged probably between 5,000 and 6,000 years, at the construction site of an archaeology gallery in Guar Kepah here on Monday proved the existence of prehistoric people in Peninsular Malaysia during Neolithic period.

Source: 5,000-year-old skeleton found in Guar Kepah | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

See also: State seeks Unesco listing for site of ‘Penang Woman’ discovery (Malay Mail, 25 April 2017)