Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ancient Kelantan

Archeological exploration and excavations in caves or rock shelter sites have provided evidence of a rich chronology of human occupation, from the modern ‘orang asli’ occupation to the early historical period and prehistoric times, dating at least 12,000 years ago.

Archeological artifacts from Ulu Kelantan’s Gua Cha reveled human settlements (8000 years) and the findings produced Mahayana Buddhist votive tablets (9th – 11th AD).

It was said that prehistoric foragers sporadically occupied Gua Cha in two major periods of habitation: the Hoabinhian and the Neolithic. The site functioned as temporary campsite and burial site during the Hoabinhian occupation. The Neolithic layers overlay the Hoabinhian.

Chinese historical documents chronicle the extension of a government which had links with China, when Kelantan was referred to as ‘Ho-lo-tan’.

Chinese envoy in 609 AD referred Kelantan as a state of Red Earth Land (Tanah Merah) and recorded that the capital city had three gates more than a hundred paces apart, which were decorated with paintings of Buddha themes and female spirits.

This Red Erath Land, known in the Chinese under the name Chih-t’u. It was not mentioned of it before 609 AD but it had by then already existed at least century and a half, since it is mentioned in the inscription of Buddhagupta.

Chinese records shows that this small state could conduct diplomatic affairs with aplomb of the larger neighbors. When the Chinese envoys entered Chih-t’u waters, a leading court figure whom they called a ‘Brahman’ was sent to meet them with a fleet of vessels.  
Ancient Kelantan

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