Archaeologists have discovered in what could be the oldest civilsation in Southeast Asia. An ancient ship was found embedded in the mud of a river that once flowed through the reputed historical site of “Kedah Tua” (meaning Old Kedah). Datuk Mohd Rawi, the Religious, Siamese Community Affairs, Tourism and Heritage, Public Works Committee Chairman further revealed that the archaeologists stumbled upon 5 and 7 ancient ships or barges where the masts of the ships were still visible. It was noted that the barges measure between 40-50 feet in length.

Image above: Location of Sungai Batu where the relic of shipwreck was found

The importance of Sungai Batu site
Thanks to the satellite technology, the archaeologists were able to find out the exact location of the river. Previously, they were searching through the mangroves along the coastal areas. Datuk Rawi further announced that the ancient ships were discovered a year ago but was not announced. Various relics have been discovered in the Sungai Batu (Sungai Batu means Stone River) since 2009 which is located in an oil palm plantation near Sungai Patani.  Some of the relics discovered here are more than 1900 years old (110 AD).

Image above: A comparison of ancient sites discovered in Southeast Asia

The site has been verified to be an older civilization in comparison to Angkor Wat in Cambodia from the 9th Century and Borobodur from Indonesia built in the 12th Century. In anticipating a high cost involved in retrieving the ships, Datuk Rawi said that further discussions should be made between State and the Federal government along with the related agencies.

Image above: The wrecks of ancient ship that was found embedded in mud at Sungai Batu. The river once flowed through the historical site of 'Kedah Tua' (meaning old Kedah) thousands of years ago
University of Science Malaysia Global Archaeological Research Centre director Professor Datuk Dr. Mokhtar Saidin also did not rule out that the ruined ships discovered to be the same age as the Sungai Batu civilization itself and stressed more research and analyses ought to be conducted before reaching a final conclusion. Several other archaeologists too echoed the same sentiments that the discovery of these relics as among the most important historical findings thus far.

Image above: Captain Jack Sparrow says not all treasure consists of Silver or Gold. He said it right!

 These findings are much more valuable than mere Silver or Gold. We have the opportunity to once again learn about past civilisations. I wish the archaeology team much success in their work.

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