Prehistoric settlement unearthed

KOTA KINABALU: An archaeological excavation in the interior Keningau district has unearthed what researchers believe is one of the earliest human settlements in the country.

Sabah Museum director Joanna Kitingan said excavation of the site at Kampung Lipasu in Bingkor by museum and Universiti Sains Malaysia researchers revealed a 200,000-year-old settlement.

She said Sabah Museum would propose to the state government that the site, some 160km from the city, be conserved as an archaeological-tourism area.

Excavation work began on May 9.

“It revealed a prehistoric masonry workshop some 1.5m under layers of dirt,” said USM Global Archaeological Research Centre director Prof Dr Mokhtar Saidin.

He said tools such as anvils, core stones, hammerstones, choppers and flake tools were discovered.

He said the Kampung Lipasu settlement could rival, in terms of age, another prehistoric settlement in the Lahad Datu district.

“That settlement in Mansuli was shown to be inhabited some 235,000 years ago.”

Mokhtar said the recent finding was an eye opener to the archaeological community.

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