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Bujang Valley: Sungai Mas Archeological Exploration, Kuala Muda, Kedah Darulaman

By Kamaruddin b. Zakaria, Director of Archeology Department, Department of Museum and Antiquity
(Translated by Haji Hashim bin Samin )

Abstract

Southern Kedah or Lembah Bujang (Serpeant Valley) civilization in the early century to 20 A.D. was intimately related to maritime trade between a few countries in Asia, China, West Asia and India. The development of its entrepot trade was often tied to the Thalassocractic Kingdom of Srivijaya. The finding of historical sites on which could be found thousands of pieces of ceramics, glass and beads from China, West Asia, India or local, the ruins of temples dedicated to Hindu gods and Buddha, the structures of sunken towns and harbours, cultural artifacts such as idols and statutes, stone writings and tools used in the community's everyday activities had indicated that this cluster as the place where the ancient Kedah coastal state was founded.

  Candi di Lembah Bujang. Merbok, Kedah.

Sungai Mas and the corridor of Sungai Muda is a historical site that crosses through pre-historic era of such cultures as the Hoabinhian, proto-history, and history. Even though its research had taken nearly 150 years, but efforts at revealing, reviving and re-constructing history, its role and development is still being debated and had not been agreed upon. Its status and potential is recognized by participants of the InterASEAN project: Archeological Excavation and Conversation of Bujang Valley, Kedah in 1985, and was recognized by the Malaysian Book of Records for the discovery of hundreds of thousands of ancient beads and for being one of the comprehensive locations for the manufacture of beads in the Indo-Pacific region. Because its harbour was indispensable and located within the trans-peninsular route between Old Kedah and Langkasuka (Patani), it developed into an important city-port.

Archeological Research Of Sungai Mas, Kedah

Introduction

Sebahagian daripada susunan blok laterit dan batu bata benteng penahan ombak yang panjang dan lebarnya belum diketahui.  

Kampung Sungai Mas, which is located in the Mukim of Kota, in the District of Kuala Muda, Kedah Darul Aman is a component of the most current and well-known historical excavation site of the proto era, in Bujang Valley. It covered an area of nearly 102.59 hectares or 253.5 acres. It area covered 74.06 hectares of kampong larids, 22.66 hectares of rice fields, 3.04 hectares of "nipah" palm areas, 0.41 hectares of ancient royal cemetery, 1.62 hectares of Chinese cemetery and 0.20 hectares of Mulim cemetery. The location is in the neighbourhood of a few other kampongs such as Kampung Alor Nibung, Permatang Janggus, Kubang Jambu, Pinang, Sungai Terus, Baru and the town of Kuala Muda. The `Mukim' of Kota is surrounded by the `Mukims' of Haji Kudong, Kuala, Bukit Meriam, Rantau Panjang and to the south, it is bordered by Seberang Perai Utara, Penang which is separated by the Muda River. These `Mukims' and kampongs were also rich with archeological sites.

Its land area was traversed by the Muda River, Terus River, Merbok River and finally the Straits of Malacca; almost turning it into an island. It is about 10 kilometres from Pantai Merdeka, 20 kilometres from Sungai Petani town, 30 kilometres from Butterworth, Penang, 35 kilometres from Mount Jerai and 3 kilometres from the Straits of Malacca, making it a strategic area in many aspects.









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