Ahad, 17 Oktober 2010

Lagi Tengkorang dijumpai di Niah

Pada 18 September 2008 satu sidang akhbar telah diadakan oleh Pakar Arkeologi USM, Prof. Stephen Chia. Dalam sidang tersebut dijelaskan tentang penemuan tengkorak manusia yang berusia 2000-3000 tahun dahulu.  Sebelum itu telah ditemui juga tengkorak manusia moden yang lebih tua iaitu berusia 40,000 tahun. Ada kemungkinan kedua-dua tengkorak ini mempunyai pertalian. Di bawah adalah kenyataan media daripada Profesor Stephen.


Gambar tengkorak yang dipercayai berusia 2000-3000 tahun
>>>Press Release
For Immediate Release

Latest findings from Prehistoric Cemetery Borneo (Sarawak)

In a press conference held today, Universiti Sains Malaysia archaeologists announced their latest finding from the prehistoric cemetery recently discovered in Sarawak, Malaysia.

The research team from the Centre For Archaeological Research Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang and the Sarawak Museum Department headed by Associate Professor Stephen Chia and Mr. Ipoi Datan discovered the ancient burial site at Gua Kain Hitam in the Niah-Subis limestone hills in Batu Niah, Miri, Sarawak. This is the area where the oldest human remains in Southeast Asia were found, thus confirming that Borneo was settled much earlier than originally thought.

The research and excavations at this site, funded by Jabatan Warisan Negara in 2007 and the USM Research University Grant in 2008, has so far uncovered more than 8 human skeletons, believed to be from the Neolithic period, dating back 2,000-3,000 years ago. This proves the existence of humans in the area from the Neolithic period and may have some relation to the oldest remains found in another nearby cave (Gua Niah), which is 40 000 years old. The latter was found in the 1950s and confirmed that Borneo was settled earlier than thought (see background text below).

Latest results reveal that the skeletons were found in extended positions together with pottery sherds, shells and animal bones. Preliminary analysis of the skeletons revealed that there are five males and one female, with generally very short stature of heights of between 156cm and 160cm. The age of the four males is estimated to be between 25-45 years old and the female between 35-45 years old.

Research on this ancient cemetery site is still on going and the excavated artifacts such as pottery, ornaments and food remains like shells and animal bones are being analysed at Universiti Sains Malaysia. Research collaboration with a palaeanthropologist from Sapporo Medical University, Hokkaido, Japan is also currently underway in order to extract more information about the burials and the ancient people who lived in the Niah-Subis region 2,000 to 3,000 years ago.

This new finding will not only enrich knowledge on the early history of Malaysia and Southeast Asia but it is also expected to attract more local and foreign tourists to visit this new site, which is located in the Niah National Park in Miri, Sarawak.

For more information, please contact

Associate Prof Stephen Chia
Centre For Archaeological Research Malaysia
USM, Penang
Tel: 04-6533888 x4118
Email: stephen@usm.my

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Penemuan ini adalah sesuatu yang amat menarik. Kalau dikaitkan dengan satu lagi kajian DNA oleh Dr. Zafarina dari USM, dikatakan bahawa secara genetiknya pola menunjukkan bahawa penduduk Asia Tenggara berasal dari Borneo.  Kalau kita lihat demografi di Borneo hal ini tidaklah mustahil kerana Borneo mempunyai kepelbagaian entik yang amat tinggi.

Adapun penemuan manusia jawa sebelum ini yang dianggarkan 100,000 tahun telah dipertikai kerana dipercayai tengkorak tersebut ialah sejenis beruk yang telah pupus dan bukannya manusia. Berlainan dengan tengkorak di Niah yang berusia 40,000 tahun merupakan tengkorak manusia moden. Jadi asal-usul orang Nusantara daripada Borneo seolah-olah ada benarnya.

Ya, kajian demi kajian perlu diteruskan sebelum memutuskan tentang asal-usul dan sejarah bangsa ini.  Bagi penulis, hati dan minda sentiasa terbuka untuk menerima pelbagai penemuan dan kajian terkini pihak-pihak berwajib.  Kita bukan ingin mendabik dada dan berbangga tentang asal-usul bangsa semata-mata, tapi yang lebih penting daripada itu ialah untuk mengetahui cerita sebenar dan asal-usul sesuatu bangsa.

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