Research on ancient elephant tooth found in Niah Caves enhances understanding on Borneo’s past

Borneo Cultures Museum

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 14: Research on an ancient elephant tooth found in Niah Caves, conducted jointly by the Sarawak Museum Department and the Natural History Museum of London, exemplifies notable international collaborations to enhance the understanding of Borneo’s past.

Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah stated that the department is actively pursuing national and international collaborations to achieve its goal of becoming a Globally Engaged Centre of History and Heritage by 2030.


“Additionally, a collaborative training workshop was held with Thermo Lignum International, Germany in strengthening staff’s competency on Thermo Lignum handling.

“Sarawak and Hungary had forged a significant relationship through collaborations with the Embassy of Hungary, Museum of Ethnography, and University of Debrecen, Hungary, in organising a joint exhibition about Hungarian explorer Janos Xanthus while in Sarawak during the 1870s,” he told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) when delivering his ministerial winding-up speech in the august House today.

Abdul Karim also highlighted a collaboration, between the French School of Asian Studies in Kuala Lumpur (EFEO) and the Sarawak Museum which started end of last year and has resulted in a discovery of an ancient metallurgy site dating between the 10th and 13th centuries at Sungai Jaong Archaeological site in Santubong.

“This significant finding enhances Sarawak’s archaeology history and inspires future archaeological research,” he said.

Furthermore, Abdul Karim emphasised that the department also conducts research and shares findings through publications and exhibitions to deepen understanding of Sarawak’s heritage.

The research includes studies on cultural heritage in Bau Division; on ‘papan turai’, ‘patung kenyalang’, paddle and stamp collections in Sarawak Museum Department; ‘Tikar Bergerang’ of Kampung Semera in Sadong Jaya, Samarahan; Beting Maro Battle, Pusa, Betong; Pengiran Matussin Pengiran Amir Abbas, Telaga Air, Kuching; Datu Pengiran Hj Metussin bin Datu Pengiran Abu Bakar, Kuala Lawas, Limbang; and Sheikh Haji Othman Abdul Wahab, a prominent Islamic figure in Sarawak.

“The department publishes The Sarawak Museum Journal annually since 1911, featuring articles spanning various disciplines with Volume No. 108 forthcoming in December 2024,” he added. — DayakDaily