Sunday, December 6, 2009
The main entrance to the Niah Caves. Some of the excavation was done in the region to the lower right in the foto.The cave is an important prehistorical site where human remains dating to 40,000 years have been found. This is the oldest recorded human settlement in east Malaysia. Painted Cave, situated in a much smaller limestone block of its own, some 150 meters from the Great Cave block's south eastern tip, has rock paintings dated as 1,200 years old. The caves are also well known for the birds' nest (Swiftlet) industry. It is a popular tourist destination in Sarawak.
Research was pioneered by Tom Harrisson in the 1950/60s. Since then local universities and foreign scientists have continued the archaeological research, and many articles have been published in the Sarawak Museum Journal. The site has been re-excavated (1999-2003+) by a joint British-Malaysian expedition to determine the accuracy of Harrisson's work.
Items found at Niah Cave include Pleistocene chopping tools and flakes, Neolithic axes, adzes, pottery, shell jewellery, boats, mats, then iron tools and ceramics and glass beads dating to the Iron Age. The most famous find is the human skull dated at around 38,000 years BCE.Painted Cave has paintings and wooden coffin 'death ships'.
Niah National Park was 31.4 km² when it was gazetted in 1974.
Posted by Salvia at 11:56 PM