ALOR SETAR – New facts on Old Kedah, which has been declared as the earliest and oldest civilisation in Southeast Asia should be immediately included in history books used as text books in schools.

Kedah branch Malaysian Historical Society chairman Prof DatukDr Wan Shamsuddin Mohd Yusof said the information was necessary to make the young generation aware of the existence of the more than 2,000 year-old treasure at the Sungai Batu Archaeology Complex.

“This is history, not a myth, or merely a legend, but something that should be the pride of Malaysians, that we have the oldest civilisation in Southeast Asia,” he told Bernama.

Last May 23, the Sungai Batu Archaeology Complex was declared the earliest and oldest civilisation in this region and five archaeologists, representing five main civilisations in the world, namely Mesopotamia, Indus, Mesoamerica, China, and Greek-Rome, signed the declaration plaque.

The historical event was symbolised with the handing over of the declaration plaque by an archaeological expert from the University of Oxford, Professor Dr Stephen Oppenheimer, to the Director of the Global Archaeological Research Centre at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Professor Datuk Dr. Mokhtar Saidin.

Coordinator of the Old Kedah Search Programme, Nur Dini Mohd Noh also opined that the inclusion of the new facts on Old Kedah in the school history text books was crucial to provide better understanding to the society on the matter.

“It has to be mentioned that Old Kedah does not belong to Kedah, but the country. Hence, information has to be disseminated that civilisation ownership does not belong to the state. It is owned by the country,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mokhtar said what should be done now was to complete the data on the civilisation and to update the existing data.

He said since the discovery of Old Kedah in 2007, he said the centre had been compiling a more holistic data for inclusion in the existing learning syllabus.

However, the task is time-consuming as there are many more archeological sites that have yet to be excavated due to financial problems, as well as new findings, he added.

Source: BERNAMA 

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