via The Star, 11 October 2018: From Malaysia’s National Archaeology Seminar held last month, a minister from the Federal government says that many archaeological sites cannot be gazetted in the National Heritage Register because the state governments have not registered them for protection.
When the federal government wants to gazette national heritage sites, the biggest hurdle is getting state governments to agree, says Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik.
Malaysia has 965 archaeological sites, of which 822 are on land and 143 underwater. But only nine have ever been gazetted as national heritage sites.
“I’m not sure what the motive is, but before we can gazette a place as national heritage and protect it, we need the states to give consent and some states are a bit slow to agree,” he said.
Source: ‘It is difficult to gazette national heritage sites’ – Nation | The Star Online
via Free Malaysia Today, 1 November 2018: A story about a World War I naval battle in Penang… and I believe the shipwreck is still there to this day.
Source: Free Malaysia Today 20181101
The Battle of Penang was a brief but deadly action now largely forgotten locally but still marked by the Russians every year.
The battle was mentioned numerous times by Vladimir Putin on his 2003 presidential visit to Malaysia, and on Saturday members of the Russian diplomatic mission to Malaysia remembered the loss of 88 Russian sailors aboard the cruiser Zhemchug (Pearl) during the battle.
Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, allied ships from Britain, France and Russia were in and around Penang harbour. One of these was the Russian cruiser Zhemchug, in Penang for repairs to her boilers.
Source: Crew of Russian ship remembered 104 years after Battle of Penang | Free Malaysia Today
via ABC, 27 October 2018: A beautiful multimedia essay about recent excavations in the Niah Caves complex.
Trader’s Cave Excavation. Source: ABC news 20181027
The caves are also one of the most important fossil sites in the region.
Over the past 60 years, archaeologists have uncovered the remains of hundreds of skeletons in a Neolithic cemetery up to 4,000 years old, and an Iron Age cemetery up to 2,000 years old.
It is also where an iconic fossil known as Deep Skull was unearthed in 1958 by British palaeontologists Tom and Barbara Harrisson.
Source: This Borneo archaeological dig cave could shed light on the Mt Toba super-volcano eruption and humans’ arrival in the region – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
via Borneo Post, 27 October 2018:
Source: Borneo Post 20181027
KUCHING: The new Sarawak Museum Campus is set to become a must-visit attraction once it opens its doors to the public in 2020. The RM308-million project is undertaken in two stages – the first one …
Source: New Sarawak Museum set to open its doors in 2020 – BorneoPost Online | Borneo , Malaysia, Sarawak Daily News | Largest English Daily In Borneo
via Bernama/Malaysiakini.com, 23 October 2018: Universiti Sains Malaysia and SOAS will create a project to digitise the letters of Sir Francis Light, the founder of Penang. The letters offer a window into geopolitical events into the Malayan region at the time. Article is in Bahasa Malaysia.
Naib Canselor USM, Datuk Dr Asma Ismail berkata , koleksi bersejarah yang disimpan di School of Oriental and African Studies, Universiti London itu bakal merubah lanskap sejarah Pulau Pinang malah juga di dunia apabila tercetusnya sebuah projek dikenali sebagai ‘The Beacon of Light @ USM’.
“Ini adalah koleksi digital 1,200 surat, merangkumi 11 jilid dari tahun 1771 hingga 1794, selama kira-kira 23 tahun, semuanya dalam tulisan Jawi,” kata Dr Asma pada Majlis Anugerah Sanggar Sanjung USM 2017, di George Town, semalam.
Raja Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail selaku Canselor berkenan berangkat ke majlis tersebut.
Source: USM dapat hak eksklusif kaji surat digital Francis Light
via Borneo Post, 22 October 2018: New materials recovered from the Niah Cave complex pushes the dates of human habitation to 65,000 years and shedding light into early modern humans in Southeast Asia.
Darren Curnoe. Source: Borneo Post 20181012
Human civilisation has been established to exist as far back as 65,000 years ago at Niah Caves complex, Sarawak – vastly exceeding the previous estimate of 35,000 years following the initial discovery of the ‘Deep Skull lady’ at the cave complex.
Discovered in the Niah Caves back in 1958, the ‘Deep Skull lady’ are remains of a female human skull that was ascribed an age of about 35,000 years, making it one of the oldest modern humans discovered in South-East Asia.
Source: New pre-history timeline discovered for Borneo – BorneoPost Online | Borneo , Malaysia, Sarawak Daily News | Largest English Daily In Borneo
via New Straits Times, 16 October 2018: A feature on lesser known Malay manuscripts of Southeast Asia.
THE lack of study on written manuscripts from the Malay Archipelago has led some of us to believe that the ancestral people of this region had either very limited knowledge and/or they weren’t literate enough to put things into written text.
This isn’t true and there are plenty of records and manuscripts. These aren’t limited to subjects like royal genealogy, literature or religious matters but also on healing, disease prevention and medical treatment. And many of these texts have survived the ravages of time and colonisation.
The collection of Malay medical manuscripts is loosely called Kitab Tib — or medical books in Arabic. According to Dr Mohd Affendi Mohd Shafri, from the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences of International Islamic University Malaysia, the earliest surviving text that’s considered Kitab Tib is Sia-sia Berguna from the 1400s by Safiyyudin Abbasi.
He recently organised the International Conference on Malay Medical Manuscripts (ICOMM) 2018 at the International Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur. In the programme forward he says: “In the Malay Archipelago, medical manuscripts number in the hundreds. Many are disintegrating and threatened by natural disasters.
Source: Come Back!
via Travel Wire News, 09 October 2018: Malaysia is looking to work with the Aga Khan Trust to create a tourism plan for the archaeological sites in Kedah, which include the Bujang Valley, Sungai Batu and Guah Kepar sites.
Putrajaya is planning to sign an agreement with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, through Think City Sdn Bhd, to develop Kedah Tua as an archaeotourism site, said Tourism, Culture and Arts Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik.
He said Kedah Tua is a network of old civilisation linking Lembah Bujang to Sungai Batu to Sik in Kedah and Guar Kepah in Seberang Perai here that can be promoted as one large site.
“We plan to sign a memorandum of understanding with Aga Khan Trust to develop the Kedah Tua project,” he told reporters after the opening of a National Archaeological Seminar here.
Source: Putrajaya mulls partnership with Aga Khan Trust to develop Kedah Tua for tourism | World News | Travel Wire News
via The Star, 11 October 2018: Walking tours of the Protestant cemetery of Penang
Source: The Star 20181011
The 229-year-old Protestant Cemetery in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah is the final resting place for many prominent personalities who contributed to the early development of George Town.
One of them was Philip Dundas who was appointed Penang’s first governor by the East India Company in 1805.
His governance lasted only two years, as he succumbed to malaria at the age of 44.
Local historian Clement Liang, who led a tour of the cemetery, said the cemetery was also home to other governors who served after him.
Source: Digging into the past – Metro News | The Star Online
via Free Malaysia Today, 09 October 2018: A new museum is planned for the Bujang Valley complex.
via Free Malaysia Today 20181009
The government is looking to pique world interest in the Bujang Valley and Sungai Batu, collectively known as “Kedah Tua”, by building a new museum showcasing findings there over the years.
Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said plans were being made for an “archaeotourism” site at Kedah Tua which extends from Lembah Bujang to Sungai Batu up to Penang’s mainland border of Guar Kepah, near Penaga, for international visitors.
Source: New museum planned to showcase finds in Bujang Valley, Sungai Batu | Free Malaysia Today