BANGI: Part of the Johor jungle, where the reported lost city is believed to be located, has been cleared for logging and agriculture as recent as between six months and 10 years ago, according to a geologist.
Prof Dr Ibrahim Komoo of Universiti Kebangsaan
“I’m really surprised to see that some of the land had been cleared so recently,” he said.
This satellite image shows various patches of land clearing (note the different colour shadings). The light green patch is a secondary forest that had been cleared not more than 10 years ago while the bottom brown ones had been cleared between six months and a few years.
“From the images you can also see that the bottom left part had been cleared between six months and few years because new vegetation is growing,” he added.
“The section of light brown patch above it had been cleared about six months ago as it is still barren,” he said, adding that yellow patches showed that the grass had either dried up or was cleared.
“It is not impossible to find a city in cleared areas as those who cleared the land may not be aware of its archaeological value,” he said, adding that land clearers could provide valuable information that could contribute to the search for the lost city.
“They might have seen unusual formations be it a rock or a wall, even if it’s just the top portion, while clearing the land,” he said.
There was also evidence of several dirt roads built from different directions along that area, possibly for logging purposes, he added.
Dr Komoo also noted that it was crucial to determine the age of the site and it could be done through carbon dating artefacts and studying the soil behaviour and layering.
He added that geophysical techniques could be used to detect structures buried between 15m and 20m underground.
“If sandstones or laterite rocks were used 1,000 years ago, they will be badly weathered by now.”
Although the sandstones could have turned into soil, its general features like their arrangements could be detected from the ground by remote sensing or aerial photographs, he said.
“The structures could also be buried between five and 10m deep into the ground because of sedimentation and they will be completely gone if they were made of wood,” he added.
The Department of Museum and Antiquities is expected to lead an expedition, dubbed “The Search for Kota Purba Linggiu,” in April.