Feb 23, 2005
BY AUDREY EDWARDS
BANGI: Funding and the involvement of scholars from multiple disciplines such as the sciences, arts and humanities are two major challenges facing anyone organising archaeological projects in the country.
“Research is very expensive and not many people want to invest in something when they are not sure of getting anything in return,” said Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation (Atma) director Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin yesterday.
“Another challenge is attracting scholars. We can have the best archaeologists but then there is no support from areas such as science.
“We need experts in various fields such as literature, environment, religion and the economy. There are just not enough qualified people,” he said.
Consequently, he said, finding the lost city in Johor was just “the tip of the iceberg” and bigger tasks lay ahead.
“It is not so much locating a lost city. It is like locating the Sungai Besi toll and not knowing why it was built,” he said.
He added that any discovery should neither be overemphasised nor underrated.
Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation (Atma) director Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin
Archaeologists, such as Prof Datuk Dr Nik Hassan Suhaimi Nik Abdul Rahman, who is also with Atma, have been involved in numerous excavations in Malaysia including around the Johor River, Perak, Tasik Chini in Pahang and the Bujang Valley in Kedah.
Independent researcher Raimy Che Ross recently claimed he might have located the long-sought Kota Gelanggi through the study of Malay manuscripts, aerial photos and a preliminary ground trip.
Search for Kota Gelanggi