Oldest human skull on display at exhibition

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Kuching: A human skull said to be about 40,000 years old -the oldest ever discovered in South East Asia region - is currently on display at the Dewan Tun Abdul Razak Museum here. Studies carried out by paleontologists in United States and Japan suggested that: It (the skull) probably belongs to a female of an Australo-Melanoid ethnic group (having curly hair and black skin like the aborigine in Tasmania. It is among 66 chosen artefacts that the Sarawak Museum Department has on display at its on-going three-month The Chosen Ones Artefacts Exhibition at the venue since Jan 24. A senior spokesman of the department disclosed to the thesundaypost that the skull was discovered in 1968 at West Mouth, Niah in Miri. The discovery is the earliest and the oldest representation of modern mankind in South East Asia. The oldest human skull ever discovered in Malaysia was that of a Perak man, said to be between 10,000 and 11,000 years old, he said. He said the skull would also be displayed at the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur after the exhibition here ended in April.

This is in exchange of artefacts between Sarawak Museum and the National Museum, where artefacts from Peninsular Malaysia would be on display at Dewan Tun Abdul Razak. The spokesman said another interesting item on display at the exhibition was the freshwater jellyfish, known as Craspedacusta Sp. It is hardly visible to the naked eye but there is a magnifying glass, provided above the aquarium, to help visitors catch a glimpse of the specimen - one of the smallest known freshwater jellyfish in the world, and is the first of such species to be recorded in Malaysia. This type of adult jellyfish is less than 8mm in diameter, and the one at the exhibition was collected by the Sarawak Museum on Aug 11 last year in a small outdoor cement pool at Chung Hua Primary School in Sri Aman Division. It was discovered by one Yap Kut Kee of Sri Aman and the State Museum is still trying to determine whether the species is new to science. Another noteworthy item is a carving of a rhinoceros horn - probably the oldest carving ever discovered here. Rhinoceros horn carving was made during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) at Haicheng Province in China. The horn was carved with various motifs like crave, flower plants and animals. The spokesman said only chosen artefacts with high historical and monetary value were on display at the exhibition, which is divided into archeology, zoology, history and references, ethnology and collections, Islamic museum and conservation. The Sarawak Museum would be holding another exhibition, The Dino Track, middle of this year, he said.

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