Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 75, May 2023, pp. 85 – 99
Muhamad Shafiq Mohd Ali*, Zuliskandar Ramli, Nur Farriehah Azizan
Laboratory of Archaeology and Archaeometry, Institute of the Malay World and Civilization, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor
* Corresponding author email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Gua Kelew is one of the newly discovered caves by archaeological researchers in Malaysia. This cave has the potential to become one of Malaysia’s prehistoric sites from the findings from site surveys and archaeological excavations. Among the artifacts that were found are stone tools, earthenware, ceramics, snail shells, cave paintings and animal bones. The discovered earthenwares were analyzed for their mineral content in order to determine whether they were made locally around the cave or brought from elsewhere. The outcome of this analysis is vital as the data would provide proof that the community living in the cave or the surrounding area had its own technology for manufacturing the earthenwares. However, if the earthenwares were brought from elsewhere, it is believed that trade or the exchange of goods between communities living inland and near the coast had occurred. Composition of the earthenware samples was obtained by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis for mineral content and also X-Ray Flouresence (XRF) analysis for major, minor and trace elements. Findings from the XRD analysis show that the mineral content in the earthenware samples are quartz, calcite and anorthoclase, while the XRF analysis shows a high content of silica and aluminium. The analysis also discovered that all of the earthenwares found in Gua Kelew used the same raw materials obtained from the same area. Based on the graph plot analysis, the data exhibits differences in the elements between the earthenware samples and the surrounding area’s clay samples. Hence, it is suggested that the earthenwares found in Gua Kelew were not produced in the Hulu Kelantan area. This also indicates that the earthenwares may have been brought from another location to the area through trade deal between the local and foreign communities.
Keywords: Gua Kelew, Nenggiri Valley, Kelantan, earthenware, prehistoric, XRD, XRF
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Manuscript received 18 August 2022;
Received in revised form 23 March 2023;
Accepted 12 May 2023
Available online 26 May 2023
0126-6187; 2637-109X / Published by the Geological Society of Malaysia.
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