Follow Darren Curnoe on his Niah Caves excavation

Darren Curnoe of the University of New South Wales is on his three-week excavation of the Niah Caves in Sarawak and he will be tweeting and broadcasting his experiences on Facebook Live. You can follow his progress here:

Darren Curnoe – Anthropologist. 80 likes. Biological anthropologist and archaeologist with an insatiable curiosity about the kind of creature we are and how we came to be this way.

Source: Darren Curnoe – Anthropologist

The rock art of Malaysia

Liz Price writes about the various rock art sites found in Malaysia, including Gua Tambun, the Niah Caves, Gua Badak and the newly-discovered Merapoh caves.

Source: The Star 20140322
Source: The Star 20140322

Gua Badak: Cave art from the past
The Star, 22 March 2014
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Sarawak Museum to reacquire Niah Cave bones from US

The Sarawak Museum announced a plan to repatriate a set of bones from the Niah Cave that were placed in the custody of the University of Nevada, Los Vegas (the article writes Los Angeles?) in the 1960s.

Light Shining Through Niah Caves
photo credit: amanderson2

Sarawak Museum hopes to bring back Niah Caves relics from US
Borneo Post, 24 February 2012
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Malaysia hopes for World Heritage status for Niah Caves

The Niah Caves in Sarawak, where one of the oldest anatomically modern human remains in Southeast Asia was found (approx 40,000 years old), has been put up by the Malaysian government for nomination as a World Heritage site.

Light Shining Through Niah Caves
photo credit: amanderson2

Hope for naming of Niah Caves as World Heritage Site
The Star, 11 August 2011

Will Niah caves achieve Unesco world heritage site?
Borneo Post, 11 August 2011
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More reports on the Neolithic skeletons from Sarawak

The coverage of the Neolithic skeletons unearthed in Sarawak continues… (Read my fuller account here).

Malaysian archaeologists find complete Neolithic skeletons
AFP, via The Nation (Pakistan), 19 September 2008

Neolithic skeletons found: report
SBS, 19 September 2008

Skeletons shed light on humans during Neolithic age

The Star, 19 September 2008
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Malaysian reports on the Gua Hitam skeletons

As expected, most of the Malaysian papers carried reports about yesterday’s press conference on the excavation of six skeletons from Gua Kain Hitam in Sarawak and Pulau Kelumpang in Perak. You can read my account here.

Proof of Neolithic presence
New Straits Times, 19 September 2008

Archaeologists discover Neolithic-era skeletons
The Star, 18 September 2008

Prehistoric human remains found in Perak, Sarawak
The Sun, 18 September 2008

USM Researchers Find Prehistoric Human Skeletons In Gua [Kain] Hitam, Sarawak
Bernama, 18 September 2008
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Special: Six new Neolithic burials from Sarawak revealed

This morning, the Centre for Archaeology Research, Malaysia at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang unveiled two sets of burials from the Niah cave complex in Sarawak and Pulau Kelumpang in Perak. Check out the new finds in this special  SEAArch web report.

Six human burials excavated from Gua Kain Hitam, Niah, Sarawak in June 2007.
Six human burials excavated from Gua Kain Hitam, Niah, Sarawak in June 2007.

Continue reading “Special: Six new Neolithic burials from Sarawak revealed”

A Short History of Malaysia

Today’s short history series focuses on Malaysia. Again, the information here is scant and sometimes contradictory.

16 July 2007 (Brunei Times) – Today’s short history series focuses on Malaysia. Again, the information here is scant and sometimes contradictory.

History of Malaysia

Scientists have found archaeological evidence of human inhabitants in the Niah Caves, Sarawak, from about 40,000 years ago.The earliest settlers on the Malay Peninsula came from southern China over a period of thousands of years. They became the ancestors of the Orang Asli.

During the 1000’s B.C., new groups of migrants who spoke a language related to Malay came to Malaysia. These people became the ancestors of the Malays and the Orang Laut.

Small Malayan kingdoms existed in the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD, when adventurers from India arrived and initiated more than 1,000 years of Indian influence.

About A.D. 1400, a group of Malay-speaking migrants came from Srivijaya, a trading kingdom on the island of Sumatra.These newly arrived immigrants established a commercial kingdom called Malacca.

Read more about the history of Malaysia.

More books about the early history and archaeology of Malaysia:
Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula by P. M. Munoz
Southeast Asia: From Prehistory to History by P. S. Bellwood and I. Glover (Eds) (contains a chapter on the prehistory of Malaysia)
The Malay Sultanates 1400-1700 (The Encyclopedia of Malaysia)
Early History (The Encyclopedia of Malaysia) by Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abdul Rahman (Ed)