Friday, March 9, 2012

Malay were here first Archeologically proven

By Shahfizal Musa

BANGI, 13 July 2010 – Archaeological data excavated  in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak showed that the Malay stock (rumpun Melayu) are the original inhabitants of  Malaysia since more than 40,000 years ago and are  not  migrants from the northern mainland as earlier theorised and widely believed.

Artifacts found in more than 100 excavation sites by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) archeologists showed that artifacts like ceramics were not of  foreign origin but were indegenious to the localities. 

Among the excavation sites are Pulau Kalumpang and Beruas in  Perak, Kota Johor Lama, Kota Seluyut, Kota Sayong Pinang and Muar in Johor, Kota Melaka in Melaka, Kota Lukut in Negeri Sembilan and Tasik Kenyir in Terengganu.

In addition the discovery of a 40,000 year old human skull in Gua Niah, Sarawak, by Tom Harrison and his wife Barbara in 1958 indicates that the Malays have  existed as early 40,000 years ago in the areas.

The discovery in Gua Niah combined with the research done by UKM archaeologists have  disproved  the widespread belief of the  ‘Migration Theory’ which was first suggested by Heine-Geldern and researchers from the Vienna School of Thought in the 1930s.

The migration theory was based on the similarity of  stone axe used in the mainland in the north and a similar stone axe found in Malaysia.

Deputy Director of Malay World and Civilisation Institute (ATMA) UKM,  Prof Dato’ Dr Nik Hassan Shuhaimi  Nik Abdul Rahman  asked:  “Just because a  stone axe   was  found in Malaysia, does that  mean our ancestors must have migrated from the north?  Can’t they even think of how to make  an axe?”

Prof  Nik Hassan said  in his paper “Thirty eight years of Archeology in UKM”  presented at a seminar “Marking the Archaeological Research in UKM”  on 12-13 July, 2010, in Bangi said archeological research in UKM since 1980 found new data about the origins of the oldest Malay Government known as Kataha or ancient Kedah. The data was gathered from the Sungai Mas archeological sites in Kedah.

He said an important issue in the early government/classical era was one of Indianisation. However, based on research done by UKM,  the concept of Indianisation was changed to indigenization.

This means that the Indian culture in the Malay world was not imposed through conquest but by request of local Malays and was adapted into the local culture.

The Vice Chancellor of UKM, Prof Tan Sri Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin  speaking  at the  seminar on 12 July said UKM produced more than 1,000 graduates who are now working in the field of archeology all over the country.

She said in the 40 years since UKM was established, its archaeologists spearheaded by Prof Nik Hassan had brought meaningful results  to the national history by elevating the heritage of the Malay government.

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