Seminar: Revisiting the Bujang Valley

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Readers may be interested in this seminar on the Bujang Valley at the National University of Singapore.

Bujang Valley Museum

Revisiting the Bujang Valley: An EntrepĂ´t Complex at the Heart of the Maritime Silk Route
Dr Stephen Murphy
Date: 29 October 2014
Time: 3 pm
Venue: National University of Singapre. Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Block AS1, #03-04, 11 Arts Link, Singapore 117570
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New dates push Bujang Valley back to 5th century BCE

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via The Edge Markets:

The significance of the Bujang Valley in history has been heightened by a latest sensational laboratory report on four sections of a newly excavated jetty complex – dating them each to 487 BC. This means that the port settlement in Kedah thrived 2,500 years ago, making it the earliest and oldest among the ancient kingdoms of South-east Asia. The civilisation lived until the 13th century AD. fz.com has learnt that the tests were conducted by the Korea Basic Science Institute in South Korea, through an Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating technique. The results were received by the Centre for Global Archaeological Research (CGAR) of Universiti Sains Malaysia two weeks ago.

Source: Ancient jetties discovered in Bujang Valley dated 487 BC | The Edge Markets

Kedah: Approval now required before building on archaeological land

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via The Star, 08 December 2013:

All land owners in Kedah must obtain the approval of the Kedah government and the National Heritage Department before undertaking any construction if they find on their property structures that can be regarded as archaeological remnants.

Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir said the directive would be issued to avert a recurrence of the incident where the ruins of an ancient temple were destroyed last Monday in Sungai Batu, in the archaeologically rich Lembah Bujang.

Source: Mukhriz: Approval needed for construction on Kedah land with archaeological remnants

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Sungei Batu site to get exhibition centre

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The Sungei Batu site in Kedah, Malaysia will have an exhibition centre built to showcase the finds there. Two interesting things from the story – the Sungei Batu civilisation is now being called the Langkasuka culture and the minister is quoted as saying that Bujang Valley civilisation is older than Perak Man which I’m sure is incorrect, since the Perak Man is dated to around 10,000 years old.

Site of Ancient Civilisation at Sungei Batu to Have Exhibition Centre
Bernama, 05 December 2011
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Researcher argues for Kedah as site of oldest Malaysian kingdom

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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
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Excavations at Bujang Valley

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Archaeologists and students at Universiti Sains Malaysia, where I was at until last year, have been for the past couple of years busy with new excavations and finds at the Bujang Valley, in the northern state of Kedah. This story from the Straits Times features some of the main finds from the ongoing work.

Digging up South-east Asia’s oldest ruins
The Straits Times, 07 January 2011
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