Archaeologists find buildings from third century AD in Malaysia

March 5th, 2009 - 3:37 pm ICT by ANI  

Kuala Lumpur, March 5 (ANI): A group of archaeologists has unearthed two prehistoric buildings from the third century AD in the Bujang Valley in Malaysia recently.

The group, from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)s Centre for Global Archaeological Research, found a building and a smelting factory, following an excavation project in Sungai Batu, Semeling.

Discovered in two areas near an oil palm plantation in Jalan Lencongan Merbok recently, the buildings proved that an ancient civilisation had existed in the Bujang Valley.

According to USM Vice-Chancellor Professor Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, the discoveries were important historical findings.

He said that the date depicted the early beginnings of commercial smelting activities in the Bujang Valley.

The excavation, conducted with the cooperation of the National Heritage Department, began on February 1, with a total of 70 participants, including USM students.

This finding is solid proof that the prehistoric civilization depended on basic knowledge, trade and large-scale industrial production, said Dzulkifli.

The excavation project resulted in two weeks of digging before the buildings were unearthed.

Dzulkifli said that the project was part of a plan to develop the National Heritage Department Bujang Valley Heritage Park.

The finding at Sungai Batu is different from artifacts found in other sites in the Bujang Valley. Previously, archaeologists only found buildings that had the characteristics of ancient temples, he said.

This latest finding at Sungai Batu I were of bricks believed to be from a house or office, and another at Sungai Batu II which functioned as a smelting factory, he added.

According to Dzulkifli, both findings were important as it could unravel questions regarding the real date when civilization started in the Bujang Valley.

Dr Mokhtar said coal samples found at the foundry were sent for Radiocarbon Dating tests at the Beta Analytic Inc, Florida, US, which confirmed that it dated back to the third or fourth century AD.

He added that the Sungai Batu area would be gazetted as the Bujang Valley Heritage Park next year, after research was completed. (ANI)

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