Two Buddha statues were found on Choras Hill

22 Sep 2023 06:42pm

YAN - The National Heritage Department (JWN) in collaboration with the Global Archaeological Research Center (PPAG) of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) managed to find two Buddhist sculptures complete with inscriptions.

PPAG Senior Lecturer Dr. Nasha Rodzaidi Khaw said the discovery happened during research work at the Bukit Choras Archaeological Site which started on August 28 to Sept 12.

She said the archaeological excavation revealed a larger and complete temple structure by showing half of the north and south parts and the entire west wall.

"The foot part of the temple shows a stair arrangement and has an orientation that coincides with the direction of the wind.

"The sculpture that was found was worn and broken," she said at the location of the Bukit Choras Archaeological Site, here on Friday.

At the site, Nasha also found an inscription in Pallava script as well as pottery fragments.

"This site is quite special because most of the Bujang Valley archeological sites are located south of Mount Jerai, around the Merbok River, Buda River while the Bukit Choras site is the only site located north of Mount Jerai.

"It stands alone and around it we found the site. We were surprised by the discovery of a large temple because for a large temple to exist, it must have a large population as well. So this opens up various forms of potential for future studies," she said.

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Nasha said that the structure of the temple also has similarities with the Batu Jaya Site in West Java and leads to a dating that matches the Srivijaya period.

"For that, carbon dating studies and chronometric techniques, namely optical stimulation luminescence or OSL, were carried out to obtain the dating of this temple," she said

Meanwhile, Heritage Commissioner Mohd Azmi Mohd Yusof said the site in question was gazetted as a heritage site under the National Heritage Act 2005 on 28 December 2016.

"This excavation is a pilot project in the field of research and education following the Memorandum of Understanding that JWN signed with the public university last March.

"We have made many discoveries and hope that with this discovery we can redefine everything," he said.