In the second part of his visit to Kuala Lumpur, Howsy writes about his visit to the National History Museum (Muzium Sejarah Nasional) – not to be confused with the National Museum (Muzium Negara) which in a stroke of perfect timing is going to be closed for renovations for most part of Visit Malaysia Year 2007. I’ve visited the National History Museum before, and it’s a surprisingly good museum with a narrative that takes you all the way from the prehistoric to modern period. Much of the pre- and proto- historic material is located in the ground floor of the museum, including stone tools, reproductions of monoliths, and the Terengganu Scripted Stone, which is the earliest record of Islamic influence in the country. Howsy’s account is full of pictures of the interior of the museum, but I must say that it’s worth a visit by itself.
You might have heard of Nias Island from the 2004 tsunami, where it was hit hard because of its location near North Sumatra. The Museum Pusaka Nias, or the Museum of Nias Heritage has a blog. Although last updated in Feb 07, it still has quite a few articles dating back to 1986 (although concentrated over the last two years). The site is in Bahasa Indonesia, though, and from what I can gather it has updates about its collections as well as the reconstruction of the museum. Nias Island is particularly known for its megaliths.
19 January 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – I’ve got no information on the other stone slabs.
Another ancient stone slab discovered in Ha Giang
A 3 sq. m wide slab of stone believed to be an altar for prehistoric people has been discovered in Xin Man district, northern mountainous Ha Giang province.
The stone slab is propped up on three stone pillars, 200m away from a field discovered two years ago full of ancient stone slabs with strange carvings.
Archaeologists from the Viet Nam Institute of Archaeology are now studying the significance of the carvings and odd patterns on the stone, to try to come up with ways of preserving them from the ravages of time and weather.