Mineralogical evidence from Bukit Bunuh impact crater and its contribution to prehistoric lithic raw materials

Warta Geologi, Vol. 46, No. 1
Author : Nurazlin Abdullah, Nor Khairunnisa Talib, Mokhtar Saidin
Publication : Warta Geologi
Page : 6 - 11
Volume Number : 46
Year : 2020
DOI : doi.org/10.7186/wg461202002

Warta Geologi, Vol. 46, No. 1, April 2020, pp. 6–11


Mineralogical evidence from Bukit Bunuh impact crater and
its contribution to prehistoric lithic raw materials


Nurazlin Abdullah*, Nor Khairunnisa Talib, Mokhtar Saidin

Centre for Global Archaeological Research, Universiti Sains
Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

* Corresponding author email address:


The Centre for Global Archaeological Research (CGAR), USM has conducted a
geoarchaeology research at Bukit Bunuh, Lenggong since 2008, and has proven
that the site is an in-situ Paleolithic and meteorite impact crater. Recent
studies and researches in geology and geophysics have also proven that Bukit
Bunuh is a meteorite impact crater. The evolution of archaeological studies in
Lenggong valley had made it being listed as one of UNESCO world heritage sites
on 30 July 2012 through its chronology and importance to the country and world.
The evidence of handaxe embedded in the suevite with the dating 1.83 million
years shows a clear connection between archaeology and geology at Bukit Bunuh.
The Paleolithic humans at Bukit Bunuh had chosen different raw materials to be
used as stone tools and their equipment. Most of the stone tools were from
cherty metasediment and quartzite, while some were made from suevite and
quartz. The Planetary and Space Science Center (PASSC), based at University New
Brunswick, Canada, has listed six criteria for indentifying an area as a
recognized meteorite impact area. One of the criteria is the presence of high
pressure mineral polymorphs within in situ lithologies. This mineralogical
research focused on identifying high pressure minerals. Samples taken in this
research was heavy minerals. The samples were collected using panning method at
Bukit Bunuh, Lenggong and its vicinity. Sampling was done in three phases and
51 samples were analyzed using XRD. As a result, the analysis indicates the
presence of high pressure mineral polymorphs in the samples such as stishovite,
coesite, akimotoite, ringwoodite, reidite and wadsleyite. This may be the main
reason why the edges of the stone tools, especially the flake tools and chunk
tools mostly show that they have not been retouched. In addition, the
identification of these minerals has proven that the rocks at Bukit Bunuh were
good raw materials in terms of strength and durability compared to other types
of rocks. Interpretation of lithic industry technology at Bukit Bunuh shows
that manufacturing technology by Paleolithic humans are advanced with their raw


Heavy minerals, high polymorph minerals, raw materials, Bukit Bunuh




0126–5539; e-ISSN 2682-7549

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