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National Heritage Department (JWN) curator Yazid Othman explains to pressmen the findings during a media brief in Kuala Lumpur. - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: A Mesolithic or middle stone age skeleton from between 6,000 to 8,000 years old has been found at a site in Gua Chawan, Nenggiri Valley, Kelantan on Nov 2.

The skeleton believed to be that of a teen girl was found by researchers from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), archeologists from National Heritage Department (JWN) and researchers from the History Department, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris during the archaeological excavation at the cave.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi revealed that the findings were very important for archeology in giving new facts about funeral and prehistoric practices in Malaysia.

"This skeleton is believed to be that of a teenage girl based on the pelvis bone found on the skeleton . It is buried with the foot covered by gypsum and the head coated with limestone.

"The right hand also holds a snail as well as an item believed to be a grass cutter and there is also a round rod-grinding stone placed at the leg as a tool to accompany the remains in death," he said at a press conference here today.

Mohamaddin said the prehistoric human skeleton had been removed from Gua Chawan on Nov 10 and is now placed in JWN conservation laboratory for 60 days for records to be taken down and for conservation purposes.

He said dental samples and as well as that from the snail shells would be sent to Beta Labs in the United States to obtain a chronometric date.

He added that the discovery was very meaningful as it would lead to the unraveling of the primitive society cuture and the presence of prehistoric humans around the Nenggiri Valley in Ulu Kelantan.

"JWN in collaboration with the Kelantan State Government will also collect all artifacts to be used as a reference material for the country's history and heritage and it will be displayed to the public once the conservation process is completed," Mohamaddin said.

On plans to modify the Visit Malaysia 2020 logo that had previously been controversial, Mohammadin said are looking at making a small change and will take into account the cost factor as well.

The Visit Malaysia Year 2020 logo which was launched in conjunction with ASEAN Tourism in by January this year in Chiang Mai, Thailand by former Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri drew negative response from netizens. - Bernama

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