Discover and learn the ancient histories of Kedah Tua with archaeology experts and join in an excavation on site!
Kedah Tua is an ancient civilization that dates back to 535 BC. It existed even earlier than Borobudur in Java which dates back around the 9th century AD and even Angkor Wat, Cambodia from 12th century AD. The site was discovered in 2009 and it was a major discovery. It is one of the oldest civilization in Southeast Asia too. After archaeologists dig deeper into this historical site, it is found that the kingdom is a major iron exporter at that time. The site consists of mines, smelting factory, port, administrative buildings in order to support the industry. What is left missing are remnants of a palace, its thriving city and burial sites of its people.
This historical site is tucked between plantations along quiet country roads. It was called Kedah Tua because experts have not found out what type of kingdom it was. Its other names such as kedaram, kataha or kalaha mean iron in different languages and it is directly linked to the iron industry. The Kedah Tua kingdom isn’t just any normal kingdom but an advanced one with geologists to detect and mine iron and technology to smelt it. When it was first discovered, there was no pre-recorded history regarding this site so archaeologists were confused until they managed to piece everything together.
After nearly a decade of excavation work at a local oil palm estate, archaeologists with the expertise of five main ancient civilizations - Mesopotamia, Indus, Mesoamerica, China and Greco-Roman - signed a plaque recognizing the historical significance of Sungai Batu. Evidence unearthed at these sites proved that Kedah Tua was a thriving industrial port exporting high-grade iron products top other civilizations during that time which means the kingdom has it has a high social hierarchy in the world that time.
Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) Centre for Global Archaeological Research (CGAR) have been excavating the site to find these remnants and piece together the rise and fall of this ancient advanced civilization in Kedah. Have you ever thought of how it feels like to be an excavator like these people? By joining this tour, you will be able to participate in the excavation which will be supervised by the experts!
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