via The Vibes, 06 July 2023: Researchers from Universiti Sains Malaysia are re-examining findings ahead of nominating the Bujang Valley as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and recent analysis suggests that the iron smelting site in Sungai Batu may not be as old as previously thought. The 7th – 5th centuries BCE date are outliers and other evidence put the main period of occupation for Bujang Valley between 2nd -10th centures CE, which is more in line with other similar sites in the region.
USM CGAR senior lecturer and archaeologist Nasha Rodziadi Khaw said recent findings – based on analysis of available data – indicate that the iron smelting site in Sg Batu may not be as old as it was previously thought to be.
It was earlier reported to date back to 788 BC.
The Bayesian Chronological Modelling online application used in 2019 to analyse radiocarbon data via a two-dimensional model – which gives a detailed analysis of a site – showed that a majority of samples collected from the Sg Batu iron smelting site were dated between 2nd and 10th century AD.
These were consistent with the tangible cultural structures, written historical accounts and have been endorsed by peer reviews.