Need to rewrite history of Lembah Bujang

LEMBAH BUJANG, 7 May – Since February 2009, the research carried out by the excavation team from the Centre for Global Archaeological Research (PPAG), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), has discovered more evidence of the structure of the 3rd Century iron smelting site.

The latest discoveries from the excavation that began in February are expected to provide answers to various questions regarding the history of the PPAG excavation site at Sungai Batu, Lembah Bujang Kedah.

The Director of PPAG, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mokhtar Saidin said that these crucial discoveries are expected to provide various historical facts including the function of the location, the influence of the government, activities and other facts since the 3rd century.

He said that apart from radiocarbon dating that established the date as 3rd Century, PPAG also received similar results from the OSL dating carried out at the laboratory in Korea.

Mokhtar added that among the latest discoveries was the complete foundation of the stone building, which revealed the unification of the concept of squares and circles.

“We believe that this concept illustrates the element of the cosmos, that is, a belief in nature. It is believed that this structure functioned as a place of worship,” he said.

However, he clarified that they have yet to validate this conclusion as all the latest discoveries are in the process of further study.

He said that apart from the foundation of the building, PPAG also discovered proof of writing, in the form of inscriptions; pottery; bricks with finger prints; leaf fossils and bricks of various shapes.

“All these discoveries will help PPAG rewrite the early history of Lembah Bujang and the country.”

Meanwhile, speaking on the iron smelting site at the same location, he said, “The iron smelting technology discovered here, uses clay furnaces and tuyere. Furthermore, the construction of the building foundation is rather complex and illustrates how technologically advanced the society at Sungai Batu was at that time.

“We are confident that this discovery will reveal useful information about the activities of man during the 3rd Century not only for the country but also for this region because we have discovered a complex that will provide answers to many issues and problems.”