via Malay Mail, 10 July 2018: Gua Tambun is a site that I know very well – I studied it for my MA research a decade ago and have gone back to the site every couple of years. The news article incorrectly calls it the largest site in Southeast Asia, although it is one of the largest sites in the region. From the images in the news story the forest growth has been the heaviest that I’ve seen. The site has always had a problem with maintenance, but most of the rock art itself is well protected because it is out of reach of human hands. If anyone knows how to put me in touch with the relevant authorities, please send me an email – I would be very willing to help with the site’s rehabilitation.
The Perak State government announced last month plans to revitalise and conserve the Gua Tambun rock art site in Ipoh, a site I am very familiar with. The plans include constructing an entrance and public facilities, but more alarmingly, an awning to protect the paintings from damage. This is a really bad idea, because it represents a major environmental change to the rock shelter (not to mention as being practically unfeasible).
Working to save Tambun Cave
The Star, 08 March 2016
Realising the importance of the preservation and conservation of all archaeological and heritage sites in Perak, the state government is set to revitalise the Tambun Cave by building facilities to ensure that the place does not lose its lustre. The caves are famous for its pre-historic drawings,
State Tourism, Arts, Culture, Communications and Multimedia Committee Chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohd Radzi told MetroPerak that the state government recently finalised the conservation plan for Tambun Cave including the proposal to build a proper entrance and other public amenities.
She said RM120,000has been allocated for the construction, which will commence this month.
Full story here.
These news stories were posted by Liz Price in a comment on the recent post about Gua Tambun, but I have a particular interest in the site so I’m re-posting them here. Graffiti has always been a problem ever since the site was open to public in the 1970s.
Heritage site not treasured
The Star, 09 April 2014
Walls of Gua Tambun vandalised with paint and sketches
The Star, 05 April 2014
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.
The Lenggong Archaeological Museum in Perak sees a sharp rise in visitors because of the rehousing of the Perak Man remains there.
The remains of the 10,000-year-old Perak Man are to be eventually returned to the state in which it was found, after the necessary preparations are made.
‘Perak Man’ set to return home [Link no longer active]
New Straits Times, 02 October 2012
Local experts caution the need for proper management in order for the Lenggong Valley archaeological area to be ready for a 2014 deadline for its World Heritage Site inscription. Among the chief problems are the lack of adequate protections for the numerous archaeological sites in the area, and proper infrastructure in order to facilitate safe and non-invasive tourist access to these areas.
Preserving Lenggong Valley
The Star, 04 Sep 2012
The Lenggong Valley in Perak is among the newest sites to be included as World Heritage after this year’s annual conference.
Lenggong Valley, Perak, gets World Heritage Site status
The Star, 01 July 2012
Unesco declares Lenggong Valley world heritage site
The Malaysian Insider, 01 July 2012
The Malaysian Department of Heritage is organising a five-day exhibition that started on Tuesday on the heritage of Malaysia at the Unesco offices in Paris. Among the exhibits featured are artefacts from the Lenggong valley. It looks like the government is selling the 1.8 million year-old date – does anyone know if a paper has been published on it yet?
Unesco to show Lenggong Valley artefacts
New Straits Times, 14 February 2012
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.
Bernama, 31 January 2012