Malaysia’s Heritage Association recently discovered paintings estimated to be between 2,500 and 4,000 years old at Gua Kanthan, Chemor in Perak.
The paintings that were found on the walls and ceilings of the cave include black and red charcoal scratches that show images of ships, humans, the sun, animals, snails and tuntung (turtle) shells.
Photo via BERNAMA
According to BERNAMA, Perak Natural Heritage Geopark Tour Guides Association (GEONAT) advisor, Ching Boon Tat said that the paintings were found while he and two of his friends were exploring the area two weeks ago.
“This is the first time that paintings were found in Gua Kanthan. The painting is still well preserved, and it is possible that this area was once a Neolithic settlement.
“We found a ship-shaped drawing about 150 cm long with 10 people on board, in addition to the sun-shaped paintings and animals such as lizards and chickens,” he said.
He said that the paintings should be studied in more detail by relevant historians to get more accurate information and to gather evidence about the settlements that happened here 4,000 years ago.
He also hoped that the archeological remains can be preserved as best as possible.
Meanwhile, an archeologist at the Global Archaeological Research Center, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Saw Chaw Yeh said that a thorough study is needed to find out the accurate age of the painting.
She added that in Southeast Asia, red cave paintings existed during the Neolithic period, while black charcoal scratches may be hundreds of years old.
“So far, there is nothing we can identify to associate the paintings with the Neolithic era, because there are no icons or symbols that can help us in determining the actual date of the painting.
“Usually, the ancient people used a natural stone, namely the hematite, which could often be found in limestone caves in Malaysia. It’s also possible that these people used blood or fruit for their paintings as well,” she said.
Wah, how interesting!
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat