PENANG, July 16, 2012 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) will take the initiative to register the archaeological location which is of international status, Bukit Bunuh as one of the world’s meteorite impact sites in the near future.
USM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Omar Osman, said for that purpose a summary related to Bukit Bunuh will be sent to The Planetary and Space Science Centre (PASSC), University of Brunswick, Canada at the end of this year.
He said that the summary will be obtained by organising the International Conference on Impact Archaeogeology of Meteorites Impact at Bukit Bunuh Area, Lenggong, Perak which is held from 15 to 18 July here.
“The registration is thus able to make the site at Bukit Bunuh as a world’s reference site for the study of a meteorite impact and would directly put Malaysia in Meteorite Impact Area Map of the World,'' he said.
He was speaking at a press conference after officiating the conference here today. Also present were the Director of Global Archaeological Research Centre (PPAG) USM, Prof. Mokhtar Saidin and Chairman of the Organising Committee, Prof. Dr. Hamzah Mohamad.
Omar also said that the summary is important to register Bukit Bunuh as one of 28 meteorite impact sites in the world which revealed evidence of suevite from the 896 meteorite sites worldwide.
He added that Bukit Bunuh was identified as the only site of the world with evidence of a meteorite impact suevite in Asia and is the site of a meteorite impact that occurred during the beginning of the Quaternary Period.
“The registration of Bukit Bunuh as a meteorite impact site will also add value to the heritage and a national treasure of Lenggong, particularly in terms of world civilization.
“This is part of the university's contribution to the world, it is hoped that the Heritage Department, the Department of Mineral and Geosciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaya (UM) and Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) will continue with USM to conserve Lenggong Valley as a world heritage site,'' he said.
Meanwhile, there were 16 paper presentations by geology and archeology experts, and four keynote papers presented by the Director of PPAG, meteorite expert from the Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria, Dr. Ludovic Ferriere and archaeologist from Deccan College, Pune, India, Prof. Dr. Sheila Mishra.
The discovery of evidence in Bukit Bunuh that has been carried out since 2001 has made it one of the most important Paleolithic sites in the world because it revealed a Paleolithic complex measuring four square kilometers dating more than 1.83 million years, 40,000 and 30,000 years ago.
The study has placed Bukit Bunuh as the world's oldest sites outside Africa, dated with chronometric instruments, and the discovery has further strengthened the evidence of prehistory in the Lenggong Valley, making it a significant archaeological valley in the world.
Research on Bukit Bunuh had also found evidence for the destruction of the early Paleolithic culture, attributing it to the impact of a meteorite at 1.83 million years ago as identified through geomorphological evidence, the presence of suevite rocks and geological areas.