More on 200,000 year old site discovered in Malaysia

Another archaeological find has been unearthed at Jalan Kuangoh in Bingkor indicating what used to be a site for making Palaeolithic stone tools. 

Dr Mokhtar indicating the layers of earth that have been hiding the Palaeolithic stone tools for thousands of years [Credit: New Sabah Times]
The archaeological site about 15 minutes from here had been identified earlier and as of last May 9, excavation work began and is expected to finish on May 29 next week. 

Within 10 days, the team consisting of researchers from the Global Archaeological Research Centre of University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and the Sabah Museum Department discovered several items. 

These included tools such as an anvil, core stone and hammerstone associated with debitage and even other items like chopper and flake tool. 

Director of the UMS Global Archaeological Research Centre Prof Dr Mokhtar Saidin believes it proved there were early humans that settled in the area. However he was not able to provide a date for when they existed in the prehistoric period as it required further detailed studies. 

Nevertheless, he stressed that it was an important find because it revealed the importance of West Sabah to Palaeolithic studies not only at the national level but for the world. 

The location was first explored in 2009 by the West Sabah Archaeological Project team led by Jaffrey Abdullah. 

According to Dr Mokhtar, prior to 2009 a lot of prehistoric data in Sabah was found on the east coast such as the Mansuli site that is believed to have existed 235,000 years ago. 

Another example is the Samang Buat Cave in Lahad Datu which has been in existence for 46,000 years and Bukit Tengkorak in Semporna that can be traced back to 5,000 years ago. 

Meanwhile, Sabah Museum director Joanna Kitingan said the latest discovery will put Keningau in the international spotlight as far as Palaeolithic findings are concerned. 

She suggested that the area can turn into a place for archaeo-tourism when it is gazetted as such under the Museum Department. 

Joanna said it would garner well for the local economy because tourists would be attracted to come and visit. 

Also present yesterday were Keningau assistant district officer for development Mohd Guntur Datuk Arif and community leaders. 

Source: New Sabah Times [May 23, 2012]

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