Kota Baru - Kelantan is inviting researchers to ascertain archaeological findings that claim that the oldest form of civilisation in Malaysia, besides the oldest human fossils and artefacts, were located in the state.
This will put to rest ongoing debates over where civilisation originated from in the country, state museum board chairman Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said.
"Some say the Perak Man is the oldest (10,000 years-old) but we have research evidence to indicate that civilisation began here (Ulu Kelantan) some 12,000 years ago," he said after opening a month-long archaelogical exhibition of the Nenggiri Ulu Valley, which is a Masters research study of National Museum and Antiquities Department director-general Datuk Dr Adi Haji Taha here.
He said the state would welcome input from all, including international researchers and historians to ascertain the claims.
Nenggiri Ulu, which is part of Ulu Kelantan, now called Gua Musang, has a cave system where evidence of neolithic life has been found and the present orang asli community are said to be their descendents.
According to Takiyuddin, research done has unveiled strong suspicions that there was a a pre-Islamic Malay Kingdom in Ulu Kelantan from where the legendary Princess Ruler of Kelantan - "Puteri Saadon" - originated from.
This raised questions over whether the preception that the oldest civilisation should was in Perak or Malacca, were accurate, Takiyuddin said.
The findings from various caves in Gua Musang, could help provide answers to questions that have long intrigued scholars of Kelantan`s early history, Takiyuddin said.
He said the state was also seeking to reclaim some of its artefacts currently located at the Cambridge University in England.
Takiyuddin also announced that a local university student is conducting research to acertain if the Chinese settlement in Pulai, Gua Musang, is the oldest settlement for the Oriental folks in Malaysia.
If there is an effort to provide conclusive evidence, Kelantan`s place in Malaysia would take a different dimension and bring value to its standing as the cradle of Malay culture, Takiyuddin said.
It can boost more archaeological works besides offering spin-off opportunities in tourism and culture, Takiyuddin said.
In a related development, Takiyuddin said the state plans to establish an artefacts museum in Gua Musang soon to coincide with the "Visit Kelantan 2008" campaign.
He said the state will work with the national museums department to facilitate the process including ensuring that the museum setting is situated next to the cave system there.
Takiyuddin said the state would preserve the natural settings
Source: www.thestar.com (25 Juni 2007)