Studies needed on Gua Kanthan drawings to determine origin

Perak Natural Heritage Geopark Tourist Guides Association members found the cave drawings when they explored Gua Kanthan. – Bernama

A LOCAL heritage association has discovered cave drawings it estimates to be between 2,500 and 4,000 years old in Gua Kanthan, Chemor in Ipoh, Perak.Several drawings on the walls and roof of the cave looked as though they had been made using dark charcoal and red colouring in the shape of boats, humans, the sun and animals.

The association’s team also found snail shells, believed to be of the “Brotia Spinola” type, and the skeletal remains of a turtle.

Perak Natural Heritage Geopark Tourist Guides Association adviser Ching Boon Tat said the images were discovered when he and two of his colleagues were exploring the area earlier this month.

“This is the first cave drawing found in Gua Kanthan.

“They still look good and do not appear to have deteriorated.

“The cave was probably used by humans of the Neolithic period,” he said.

Ching said they also found drawings in the shape of a ship, about 150cm long with 10 humans.

Also discovered was a drawing in the shape of the sun and animals.

He said the association hoped that the drawings could be studied further by archaeologists to gather more information on their origins.

“Carbon dating will be able to determine the age of the paintings,” he said.

An archaeologist with Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Global Archaeological Research Centre, Saw Chaw Yeh said generally, red-coloured wall drawings have been found in South-East Asia since the Neolithic period.

“Hematite, which is a type of stone commonly found in limestone caves, was used back then,” she said. — Bernama

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