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.
A Malaysian archaeologist has proposed that the Sungei Batu site in Kedah, Malaysia should be made into a cultural gallery. Archaeological evidence from Sungei Batu is thought to be the site of an important iron-smelting port since 2,500 years ago.
Reliving ancient times
The Star, 02 December 2015
The Sungai Batu archaeology site, believed to be the oldest settlement in South-East Asia, should be turned into a living cultural gallery.
Director of USM’s Centre for Global Archaeological Research Prof Datuk Dr Mokhtar Saidin said the site, some 20km from here, could be modelled after the Iron Museum in Seoul, South Korea.
He said the discovery of an ancient iron smelting foundry was proof there was internatio-nal demand, adding that around the jetty ruins were mounds of rubble containing iron slag and ingots.
“A living cultural gallery at the site will ‘revive’ the ancient civilisation in Merbok dating back 535 BC and it will certainly help to boost tourism here.
Full story here.
Archaeologists in Malaysia working at the Sungei Batu archaeological site have reportedly discovered the remains of several shipwrecks, but funds are lacking to investigate further. The finds are consistent with previous work at the site which has uncovered the presence of jetties and the former river in the area.
Ancient Ships Discovered At Sungai Batu Archaeological Site
Bernama, 31 August 2015
Ancient shipwrecks find may force a rewrite of SEA history
The Star, 02 September 2015
Using ground penetrating radar, archaelogists have discovered outlines of more than five ships between 5m and 10m underground at the Sungai Batu Archaelogical Site, near Semeling, about 20km from here.
“This was once an ancient river with a width of about 100m and a depth of 30m. Now it is a swampy wetland,” said archaelogical team member Azman Abdullah.
Signs of the first shipwreck was unearthed in 2011 not far from the ruins of a jetty made of flattish square bricks.
“We dug until we found a 2m-long mast head lying horizontally. The wood had softened but it was still miraculously well preserved.
“We were excited and dug through the wet mud every day,” said Azman, 54. To the team’s horror, the excavation pit collapsed in 2012 after they reached a depth of 5m.
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.
Bernama, 05 December 2011
The state and federal governments in Malaysia have agreed to jointly developed the Sungei Batu Archaeological Site in Bujang Valley, Kedah into a heritage site.
Bernama, 20 May 2010
New discoveries from the Bujang Valley, an hour away from Penang. While the news seems to stress on the 300 CE date of the Bujang Valley complex, this news isn’t actually new – what is significant about the find is the presence of apparently non-religious structures, particularly one used for metalworking. Until now, there has been little evidence for local metalworking in Malaysia for this period. This current investigation is part of a larger project to turn the bujang Valley into a heritage park. Oh, and there’s been a name change: the Centre for Archaeology Research, Malaysia is now the Global Centre for Archaeology Research.
Archaeologists find prehistoric building
Bernama, 04 March 2009
Civilisation dating back 300 A.D. found
The Sun, 04 March 2009
More sites of Bujang Kingdom
New Straits Times, 05 March 2009