Guar Kepah gallery to be reconstructed to include new 5,000-year-old skeleton discovery

MOHAMED BASYIR


KEPALA BATAS: The Guar Kepah Archeological Gallery building will undergo a reconstruction soon, to make way for the discovery of prehistoric human skeleton underneath it's neolithic site.


Seberang Perai Utara District Public Works Department (PWD) engineer Shahfizan Md Nor said with the discovery, the initially planned structure has been found to be unsuitable and a new stucture was needed to preserve the findings.


"The initial plan was to set up an open space concept, a shed without any specific closed-up building.


"But with the new findings, we may have to redo everything and build a proper building complete with air conditioning system," he told reporters at the site here today.


Shahfizan said the air conditioning system was important in order to preserve the findings.


For the moment, a structure has been built on top of the site where the skeleton was found to protect it from the sun and rain.


"We will wait for the recommendations from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) on the matter before proceeding," he said.


On April 19, a 5,000-year-old human skeleton was uncovered during the construction of a gallery for the neolithic site.


Archaeologist Prof Datuk Mokhtar Saidin said all construction work has stopped since and archeologists, conducting excavation at the arer found parts of a skull and rib cage with fragments of earthenwares.


Samples of the findings has been taken to the Global Archaeological Research at USM for further study.


It was reported that the Guar Kepah site was where the British had found bones during the 1800s and was recently marked to be made into a gallery.


The Penang government is in talks to have 37 bones found by Sir G. W. Earl on the site in 1860, which are now in Leiden, Holland, to be placed at the gallery.

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