Mineralogical and geochemical properties of bricks from Sungai Batu monuments

Author : Ratnah Wati Mohd Rapi, Ahmad Fadly Jusoh, Mokhtar Saidin
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 149 - 156
Volume Number : 69
Year : 2020
DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm69202013

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 69, May 2020, pp. 149 – 156

Mineralogical and geochemical properties of bricks from Sungai Batu monuments

Ratnah Wati Mohd Rapi*, Ahmad Fadly Jusoh, Mokhtar Saidin
Centre for Global Archaeological Research (PPAG), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
* Corresponding author email address: ratnah1986@gmail.com

Abstract: Evidence of Kedah Tua Kingdom since 6th Century BC was discovered by USM through excavation in Sungai Batu, Bujang Valley, Kedah. The evidence are namely the sites of iron smelting workshops and monuments. There are 53 excavated sites, and 33 of them are monuments which functioned as ritual sites, jetties and administration buildings. The monuments show evidence of floor, stair, wall and corridor structures that was entirely built from brick material. A total of 24 brick samples from eight monument sites were analysed by XRD and XRF to determine their composition. The X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) techniques can determine the mineral contents and trace the elements in qualitative and quantitative values, and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) to clarify the range temperature. The results will provide information whether the ancient inhabitants had used materials obtained locally or conversely. The samples were taken from site SB1B (ritual site), SB1H, SB2B, SB1A (jetty sites) and SB1M, SB1N, SB1R, SB1U,SB1S, SB1V, SB1X, SB2ZY (administrative building sites). The results obtained showed that the people used local material for brick production. Therefore, this verified that the ancient people of Sungai Batu Archaeological Complex already had the skills and knowledge to find the locality and quality raw materials to make their bricks.

Keywords: Sungai Batu Archaeological Complex, Bricks, XRD, XRF and TGA Technique

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm69202013