Researchers from the prehistory unit of the Department of Museums and Antiquities chanced upon the fragment of earthenware while exploring caves in the Kinta Valley recently.
“The piece is about the size of a 50 sen coin and it has visible geometric lines, which points to prehistoric activity there.
“We're excited with the find and the unit is now analysing the fragment to determine if it is from a prehistoric era, possibly Neolithic,” said Malaysian Karst Society executive officer Yap Ghee Hong yesterday.
He said old snail shells were also found in the cave whose location was being kept secret for now for fear that it would be vandalised.
He said the fragment was uncovered during a preliminary observation and more could be learnt from an excavation if the value of the fragment was confirmed.
“Finding these artefacts is an important step as it points to the unwritten history of our ancestors.
“If we can preserve the caves containing these artefacts, it will go a long way towards protecting our history as well,” he added.
Among the places visited during the expedition were Gunung Lang, Gua Datuk, Gunung Rapat and several cave temples.
The researchers sought help from the society, which is based here, to explore a few caves such as Gunung Kanthan, nicknamed “The Cathedral” because of its majestic limestone formations.
The caves of Perak have often been a rich store of prehistoric finds for Malaysian archaeologists and researchers in the past.
In 1991, archaeologists found a complete human skeleton – now known as the “Perak Man”, that dated back between 10,000 and 11,000 years – at Gua Gunung Runtoh.