Renewed interest in Johor’s lost city

JOHOR BARU: The estuary of Sungai Johor in Kota Tinggi district could be one of the former sites of Johor’s lost city of Kota Gelanggi which was established in the first century.

Yayasan Warisan Johor (YWJ) director Muhamad Fuad Radzuan said there was a renewed interest again to start looking for the lost city after it was first highlighted in the press in 2005.

He said the satellite imaging published that year showed that the site of Kota Gelanggi could be located in the thick forest which was a timber concession area.

”We are going to work closely with local universities and archeology experts to determine the exact location of the lost city,” said Muhamad Fuad.

He said this in a press conference at the soft launch of Raja Kita exhibition at Muzium Tokoh Johor recently in conjunction with Kembara Mahkota 2014 edition.

Muhamad Fuad said apart from the estuary of Sungai Johor, other potential sites of Kota Gelanggi could also be located along the 20km Sungai Johor.

He said the sites include where the present day Kampung Sungai Telur is located as well as Felda Sungai Sayong and the former site of Johor Lama.

Muhammad Fuad believed Kota Gelanggi was established in Kota Tinggi in the first century based on the descriptions by Tun Seri Lanang in the Malay Annals (Sejarah Melayu).

“Our excavation team had found beads from the Roman period and ancient Persian era and Chinese ceramics from the Song Dynasty dated back to 6th century which proved that Sungai Johor was a thriving trade route,” he said.

Muhamad Fuad dismissed allegations by certain parties that Kota Gelanggi was just a hoax or a myth when it was first made headlines in 2005, adding the lost city could be there “somewhere in the jungle and waiting to be discovered”.

He said if Kota Gelanggi was to be found, it could change the country’s history as the civilization along Sungai Johor as it was much older that Lembah Bujang in Kedah.

“It could also change the history of Southeast Asia as Kota Gelanggi was much older than Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur Temple in Indonesia,” said Muhamad Fuad.

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