Reconstructing the paleoshoreline of Bukit Choras based on geochemical and microfossil studies

1a - Cover
Author : Nini Havela Dishong, Nasha Rodziadi Khaw*,Nor Khairunnisa Talib, Suresh Narayanen, Shyeh Sahibul Karamah, Abdullah Sulaiman, Nazarudin Zainun, Zainey Konjing
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 59-71
Volume Number : 77
Year : 2024

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 77, May 2024, pp. 59 – 71

Reconstructing the paleoshoreline of Bukit Choras based on geochemical and microfossil studies

Nini Havela Dishong1, Nasha Rodziadi Khaw1, *,Nor Khairunnisa Talib1, Suresh Narayanen1, Shyeh Sahibul Karamah1, Abdullah Sulaiman2, Nazarudin Zainun3, Zainey Konjing4

1 Centre for Global Archaeological Research, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Penang, Malaysia

2 Mineral and Geoscience Department Malaysia, Menara PJH, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, 62100 Putrajaya, Malaysia

3 Pusat Pengajian Ilmu Kemanusiaan, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Penang, Malaysia

4 Orogenic Resources Sdn. Bhd., Taman Industri Alam Jaya, 42300, Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

*Corresponding author email address:

Abstract: The archaeological findings in Bukit Choras are among the best preserved structural remains of Bujang Valley. Previous studies have revealed sacred buildings made of laterite blocks, ancient water reservoirs, as well as a Buddhist inscription which can be dated back to the 6th/7th  Century C.E. Although Bukit Choras is currently located 8 km inland, in ancient times, it could have been nearer to the shoreline similar to other pre-14th Century coastal sites of Bujang Valley. Thus, this research attempts to reconstruct the paleoshoreline of the area by determining whether the dryland surrounding Bukit Choras was once submerged under the sea. In this study, hand-augered soil samples from the surrounding areas of Bukit Choras were analysed by using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and digital microscopy, while 14C dating was carried out on two organic samples extracted from the sediments. The possible locations of the paleoshoreline were deduced based on the analysis of geochemical and microfossil contents of the sediments while taking into account the sea-level fluctuations and the geomorphology of the area. Thus, it is concluded that Bukit Choras was once a coastal site, surrounded by a marine and swampy environment, while the archaeological site functioned as one of the coastal settlements of the Bujang Valley.

Keywords: Bukit Choras, archaeology, geomorphological survey, sedimentation, palaeontology


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Manuscript received 1 March 2023;
Received in revised form 27 December 2023;
Accepted 2 January 2024
Available online 30 May 2024

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