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Monday, 27 June 2011

Hey, I Excavated It!

Hasil Ketak Ketik Magic Spell Witch Vera at Monday, June 27, 2011
Hi again Dear Worldians! Anyeonghaesaeyo? Haha.

Whoa, so long I haven’t updated you, my dear blog – Two months since the last day I was ‘trapped’ in Sungai Batu Excavation Site, tightly scheduled and entirely exhausted with the digging, interpretations and scientific works in revealing the ‘past’ from beneath of the ground. Haha. I do sorry, dear blog. J


Seems like, many things and many stories I would like to share to all of you. How about if we start with the things happened in Sungai Batu? Hahaa. And hey, that SB1Q’11 Site, I was one of them, who had excavated it! That 1m X 1m trench of D11 and T10, I am the one who excavated it! Haha.


So, this is the SB1Q’11 Site. SB1Q stands for Sungai Batu I (Site No Q) while ’11 stands for the year the site is opened which is in 2011.  I took this picture in the early morning, while waiting for the time to work on that day. It was kind of a blur, guess that my W395 Sony might not able to fight the power of morning glory, where everything is so fresh and you can’t see the day as whole. But one reason more, the photographer might be is not awakened enough right? Hoho ;p

In order for us to undergo an excavation in a site, there are lots of works we have to do. One thing to take note is that, we can’t simply come and then start digging. Our past might leave things for us to see, but they didn’t give us the ‘story’ inside. J Let’s start with the tools we need. These are just the simple tools we need as an excavator, we might need more than this, depends on the site earlier interpretation, the geology of the site and the topology of the whole area, where the site is located.


Here we got a scraper to cut the soil blocks and roots found in our trench, a scoop to dig and to collect the soils, an Ice breaker to break the hard grounds, a brush to clean up artefact and the trench, a mini hammer for us to accompany the function of scraper and ice breaker, a thrower to collect soils and to align the floor and the wall of our trench, and finally, a pair of glove for us to wear while we are cleaning the surface ground of the trench and also while we are excavating. Almost forgot, there is a basket used to collect all the soils from the trench, we called it as ‘pongkis’. We do not throw the soils simply since we’ll have to sieve the soils first, in case small artefacts might be inside it. J Other than that, we’ll need a tape measure, marker, and captions. Earlier than that, we’ll use theodolite, compass, elevation measurement, trench division and site mapping. J


This is the situation inside our site. Wondering why got one people only? Haha, that one people is Koh, the only Chinese friend of ours in the excavation team. I remember that I took this picture while all the Muslims were having their Solat Prayer, leaving us, the non-Muslims (around 3 of us), in the camp. This is just the earlier view, where we’ve just begun. Haha. J This site is not silent. It’s the noisiest; I laughed much during the days. There was always something to laugh on, haizz.. How I miss those jokes. J


Here is my second excavated trench, D11. Haha. This picture I took while I’ve just reached the 2nd spit of the trench. I got found a blue-green bead and brick artefacts inside this trench. Wondering why it’s kind of surface find? Based on the land history, two kinds of plantation have been done on this site, firstly for rubber trees and then, secondly for palm trees plantation. Just imagine that, the land; it had been aligned for two times, before the site was revealed. Before, it was buried deep beneath the ground and it was an amazing thing to know that we were examined something which once has been lost from our eyes!


This is some of the brick artefacts that I’ve found in this trench. Did you notice the fraction of the brick with a black surface? It’s indicating the burnt bricks, which means that it had been burnt while it was still in making process. Mind you, making your own brick is not impossible! Hahaa. You can do it yourself in home, just making sure that it must be burnt in a high temperature. BUT a Warning, don’t use your baking oven in home! Hahah.


Lastly, here is the finished-excavated trench of mine! Hahaha. It just having three spits overall, and based on the distribution of brick, my interpretation is that these could be ruins from a building monument. Since the site was not fully excavated the moment we left Sungai Batu, we couldn’t make a precise interpretation for it.  However, based on the topology map of this site area, SB1Q’11 once had been very near to the ancient flow of Sungai Bujang river and Sungai Muda river, made it very possible to be one of the important ports for trading in Kedah Tua Kingdom, which existed around 1 300 years ago.

If you have ever watched Indiana Jones or any historical adventure films with exciting encounters and findings of artefacts, mind you know that the real thing is much different. We’ve been losing much valuable artefacts and historical ruins because of the greedy people attitude, and also due to lack of preservation efforts from the earlier excavation expeditions. Real excavation, it’s a boring thing the moment you’ve just begins, but slowly and gently, you’ll found the excitements once you learnt about the ‘story’ of the site, and you be thankful that you’ve just discovered something old, very ancient, which once belong to our great ancestors. J

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