Perak Museum to be turned into archaeological museum to showcase Lenggong Valley

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A museum in Ipoh, the state capital of Perak, will be converted into an archaeological museum in anticipation of the inscription of Lenggong Valley as a World Heritage Site. Malaysia had previously proposed the Lenggong Valley, where a large amount of prehistoric sites have been found, for World Heritage listing last year. It is not known if and when a World Heritage listing will be granted.

There is already an archaeological museum at Lenggong, but it is a little out of the way (slightly over an hour from Ipoh). I am a little uneasy over the government official’s description of the museum as a “tourism product”, though.

Darul Ridzuan Museum to be upgraded into Perak Archaeological Museum
Bernama, 31 January 2012
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Register now for the 2009 Rock Art Field School in Lenggong, Perak

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This year’s World Rock Art course jointly organised by Trent & Peak Archaeology of the University of Nottingham and Universiti Sains Malaysia is going to be slightly different from last year’s: it’s going to be a full-fledged field school, with a substantial portion spent in the Lenggong Valley of Perak (home of the Perak Man and prehistory central in Peninsular Malaysia) working on actual rock art. It’s a unique opportunity to get your hands on some real-world experience in rock art, archaeology and Malaysia.

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The oldest stone tools found in Southeast Asia potentially rewrites our understanding of human origins

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A hand axe found in Perak, peninsular Malaysia has been dated to 1.83 million years, making it the oldest stone tool discovered in the part of the world. More significantly, this find also raises some serious questions about the out-of-Africa hypothesis of human origin. The oldest modern man in Southeast Asia is dated to around 50-60,000 years ago, and the oldest hominid fossil, Java Man (homo erectus) is placed between 1 and 1.7 million years ago. It’s been all over the news this weekend, and I’m sorry for not posting this up sooner especially seeing how I am at the said Centre for Archaeological Research in Universiti Sains Malaysia (I’ve been away to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year).

The soil in which the tools were discovered in were dated by fission-track dating, but they do have a wide margin of error of about 600,000 years. At this stage, the results haven’t been independently verified.

Lenggong had early humans 1.8m years ago
The Star, 29 January 2009

Rewriting ‘Out of Africa’ theory
New Straits Times, 30 January 2009

Early axes found in Perak
The Star, 30 January 2009

Malaysian scientists find stone tools ‘oldest in Southeast Asia’
AFP, 31 January 2009

Malaysia Says 1.8 Million-year-old Axes Unearthed
Sin Chew Jit Poh, 31 Jan 2009
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