Lenggong Valley in the limelight
By Sylvia Looi
Thursday September 22, 2011
PERAK'S bid to have the 50,000-year-old archaeological site of Lenggong Valley listed as an Unesco World Heritage Site looks promising with the recent visit by the organisation's valuer.
State senior executive councillor Datuk Hamidah Osman said the state government was confident of getting the site in Upper Perak into the organisation's list of cultural and natural heritage.
"A valuer from Unesco visited the site last Tuesday and it went very well. It will be a great boost to the state's tourism sector should Lenggong Valley be given the recognition as a World Heritage Site by Unesco," Hamidah told reporters at a press conference in Ipoh on Tuesday.
If successful, Lenggong Valley will become the fifth site in Malaysia to be listed as a world heritage site after Gunung Mulu National Park, Kinabalu Park and the cities of George Town and Malacca, which are listed as historic cities of the Straits of Malacca.
Hamidah, who is also state tourism committee chairman, said Lenggong Valley was the only paper submitted by Malaysia currently.
"The World Heritage Committee, which is made up of 21 members, will be vetting proposals submitted to it in June next year.
"Our Commissioner of Heritage, Prof Emeritus Datuk Zuraina Majid, will represent Malaysia in presenting our proposal then," she added.
Awesome site: A filepic of participants of the Perak Heritage Society's
Lenggong Valley Trail admiring the cave where the skeleton of the
famous Perak Man was found in Gua Gunung Runtoh.
Lenggong Valley is reportedly a jewel in Malaysia's archaeological crown.
Dubbed an "archaeologist's dream valley", the undisturbed site is said to have many more discoveries to be unearthed in years to come.
Excavations between 1987 and 1990 had revealed that Kota Tampan was a stone age workshop dating as early as 50,000 years ago.
It had also been discovered that there was a stone age community living around Lake Cenderoh.
Several other findings also had considerable impact on regional and world archaeology.
Among them are the Perak Man, the only prehistoric skeleton in the world born with the congenital deformity Brachymesophalangia Type 2 in Gua Gunong Runtuh, Palaeolithic stone tool-making techniques in Kota Tampan, the migratory route of Homo sapiens from Asia to Australia, and the revelation that Southeast Asia was not the backwaters of civilisation as claimed by earlier archaeologists. -- The Star