ARKEOLOGI PRASEJARAH DI KEDAH-PULAU PINANG: SATU TINJAUAN KRONOLOGI, EVOLUSI BUDAYA DAN PERSEKITARAN PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY IN KEDAH-PENANG: REVIEW ON CULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT CHRONOLOGY AND EVOLUTION

Mohd Fauzan Zuraidi, Zuliskandar Ramli, Yunus Sauman @ Sabin

Abstract


Abstrak 

Negeri Kedah dan Pulau Pinang sememangnya mempunyai catatan sejarahnya yang tersendiri khususnya dalam konteks prasejarah. Pulau Pinang menerusi Guar Kepah, telah menjadikannya sebagai bukti utama bagi keberadaan masyarakat prasejarah di Pulau Pinang, yang mana kawasan ini telah dijumpai oleh G.W. Earl pada tahun 1851. Menerusi kajian awal yang telah dilakukan, dijumpai beberapa artifak penting tentang kewujudan masyarakat prasejarah di Guar Kepah seperti timbunan cangkerang kepah dan kerang yang di dalamnya ditemui rangka manusia, alat batu, sisa makanan, manik dan pecahan tembikar. Guar Kepah merupakan sebuah kawasan yang terletak di Seberang Perai, dan berhampiran dengan Sungai Muda yang menjadi pemisah antara Pulau Pinang dan Kedah. Menerusi kajian yang dilakukan oleh G.W. Earl, telah berlakunya kajian lanjutan yang dijalankan oleh beberapa pengkaji luar dan pengkaji tempatan. Melalui kajian yang telah dilakukan, dapat dsimpulkan bahawa Guar Kepah ini telah menjadi kawasan penempatan atau hunian bagi masyarakat Haobinhian dan Neolitik. Ini berdasarkan hasil penelitian yang telah dilakukan oleh Callenfels (1936) dan penelitian ini turut diperkatakan oleh para penyelidik tempatan dan sebahagiannya adalah Ahmad Hakimi (1994) telah menyatakan bahawa tapak Guar Kepah ini merupakan tapak hunian bermusim bagi masyarakat Hoabinhian dan Neolitik. Di Kedah, menerusi beberapa kawasan seperti Baling dan Kodiang telah mencatatkan kewujudan masyarakat prasejarah hasil daripada kajian yang telah dilakukan oleh Collings (1936) di Baling dan Williams-Hunt (1951) di Gua Berhala, Kodiang dan Bukit Keplu. Menerusi kajian yang dilakukan ini, telah ditemukan beberapa artifak prasejarah seperti alat batu, tembikar, rangka manusia dan lain-lain. Namun begitu sehingga kini hanya kawasan Baling sahaja yang diteruskan penelitian dan kajian oleh kerana kawasan Baling ini khususnya di Gunung Baling dan Gunung Pulai masih mempunyai beberapa kawasan yang berpontensi jika dibandingkan dengan Kodiang yang di mana kawasan yang berpontensi dahulunya telah musnah akibat aktiviti pertanian. Baling merupakan kawasan yang dikelilingi gua batu kapur di samping mempunyai aliran sungai yang besar seperti Sungai Muda yang menjadi sungai utama bagi Daerah Baling dan diikuti dengan Sungai Ketil yang merupakan lembangan terbesar di Baling. Menerusi kajian dan ekskavasi yang dijalankan oleh Collings (1936) telah dinyatakan bahawa kawasan Baling ini telah didiami oleh masyarakat Hoabinhian dan Neolitik hasil dari penemuan kapak batu Zaman Hoabinhian dan beliung batu Zaman Neolitik. Jumpaan ini ditemukan di dua buah gua iaitu Gua Debu dan Gua Kelawar yang terletak dalam kawasan Baling. Selain itu, Hakimi (2008) turut menyatakan bahawa di Kedah telah adanya kehidupan zaman prasejarah bermula dengan masyarakat Hoabinhian kira-kira 5,000 tahun yang lalu. Melalui rekod kajian terdahulu ini, dapat disimpulkan bahawa Kedah-Pulau Pinang merupakan kawasan yang menjadi pilihan bagi masyarakat prasejarah meliputi Hoabinhian-Neolitik disebabkan kawasan-kawasan ini amat kaya dengan sistem biodiversitinya sekaligus sesuai untuk dijadikan sebagai tapak hunian sementara dan kekal 

Kata kunci: Prasejarah, Kedah-Pulau Pinang, ekskavasi, artifak, hunian

 

Abstract 

The states of Kedah and Penang have their own historical records, especially in the prehistoric context. In Penang, Guar Kepah can be treated as the main evidence for the existence of prehistoric communities which was first discovered by G.W. Earl in 1851. Based on the initial study conducted, several important artefacts related to the existence of prehistoric society in Guar Kepah were discovered, such as piles of mussels and clams where human skeletons, stone tools, food waste, beads and pottery fragments were found inside. Guar Kepah is an area located in Seberang Perai and near to the Sungai Muda River which is treated as the divider between Penang and Kedah. In addition to this, several external and local researchers had conducted further studies based on G.W. Earl research. Based on the studies done, it can be concluded that Guar Kepah was once a settlement area for Haobinhian and Neolithic communities. This conclusion is drawn based on the research result conducted by Callenfels (1936), in which his analysis was further discussed by several local researchers such as Ahmad Hakimi (1994) who stated that the Guar Kepah site is a seasonal habitat site for Hoabinhian and Neolithic communities. In Kedah, studies conducted by Collings (1936) and Williams-Hunt (1951) had revealed the existence of prehistoric societies in Baling and Kodiang. Through their research, several prehistoric artefacts were discovered, such as stone tools, pottery, human skeletons and others. However, to date, Baling is the only area where research is still being conducted as it has several potential areas – particularly Gunung Baling and Gunung Pulai – compared to Kodiang, where much of the previous potential areas were destroyed by agricultural activities. Baling is an area which is surrounded by limestone caves and has two large flowing rivers, namely Sungai Muda which is the main river for Baling District and Sungai Ketil, the largest water basin in Baling. Based on Collings (1936) research and excavations, he stated that the Baling area were inhabited by Hoabinhian and Neolithic communities based on the discovery of Hoabinhian Age stone axes and Neolithic Age stone pickaxes. These items were found in two caves, Gua Debu and Gua Kelawar, both of which are in the Baling area. In addition to this, Hakimi (2008) also stated that prehistoric life beginning with the Hoabinhian community had existed in Kedah about 5,000 years ago. Therefore, based on the records of previous studies, it can be concluded that Kedah-Penang is an area preferred by the Hoabinhian-Neolithic prehistoric communities as these areas are very rich in the biodiversity system and suitable to be used as temporary and permanent habitat. 

Keywords: Prehistoric, Kedah-Pulau Pinang, excavation, artefact, settlement 

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